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21 JL^nt 















into whose intellohesions has penetrated 

the reality of the omnichronal parabola 

this hook is dedicated. 


The editors wish to express their appreciation of the 
interest which their friends have shown in the preparation 
of this hook. 

Acknowledgment of permission to print certain poems 
is due: to The Bohhs-Merrill Co. for** A Life Lesson; " to 
Henry HoU & Co. for the poems hy Gosse ; to Dodd, Mead & 
Co. for " Good-night, Babette " and " For a Copy of Theo- 
critus " from the " Collected Poems of Austin Dohson;^' to 
Little, Brown & Co. for " In Memoriam'' hy Marston; to 
The Macmillan Co. for " Rememher'^ hy Christina Rossetti ; 
to L. C. Page & Co. for " Marsyas " hy Roherts ; to Small, 
Maynard & Co. for the poems from Hovey and Whitman; 
to Charles Scrihner^s Sons for the poems from Henley^s 
'* Poems" and Lang's ** Ballades and Lyrics of Old 
France ; " to Houghton, Mifflin & Co. for the poems from 
Aldrich, Bates, Emerson, Holmes, Howells, and Sill; to 
the John Lane Co. for the poems hy Arthur Symons, 

The Editors 

P. and L. JST.-Q. 
December, 1906. 




Enamored architect of airy rhyme, 

Build as thou wilt, heed not what each man says : 

Good souls, but innocent of dreamers' ways, 

Will come, and marvel why thou was test time; 

Others, beholding how thy turrets climb 

'Twixt theirs and heaven, will hate thee all their days; 

But most beware of those who come to praise. 

O Wondersmith, O worker in sublime 

And heaven-sent dreams, let art be all in all; 

Build as thou wilt, unspoiled by praise or blame, 

Build as thou wilt, and as thy light is given; 

Then, if at last the airy structure fall. 

Dissolve, and vanish — take thyself no shame. 

They fail, and they alone, who have not striven. 




The sea is calm to-night. 

The tide is full, the moon lies fair 

Upon the straits; — on the French coast the light 

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

Come to the window, sweet is the night air I 

Only, from the long line of spray 

Where the sea meets the moon blanched sand, 

Listen! you hear the grating roar 

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling. 

At their return, up the high strand. 

Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

The eternal note of sadness in. 

Sophocles long ago 

Heard it in the ^gean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow of human misery; 

Find also in the sound a thought, 
Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

The sea of faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd. 


But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long withdrawing roar, 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 

Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another! for the world, which seems 

To lie before us Hke a land of dreams, 

So various, so beautiful, so new, 

Hath really neither joy, nor love nor Hght, 

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 

Where ignorant armies clash by night. 


Hark! ah, the nightingale — 

The tawny-throated! 

Hark, from that moonht cedar what a burst! 

What triumph! hark! — what pain! 

O wanderer from a Grecian shore, 

Still, after many years, in distant lands. 

Still nourishing in thy bewildered brain 

That wild, unquench'd, deep-sunken, old-world pain- 

Say, will it never heal? 

And can this fragrant lawn 

With its cool trees, and night. 

And the sweet, tranquil Thames, 

And moonshine, and the dew, 


To thy racked heart and brain 
Afford no bahn? 

Dost thou to-night behold, 

Here, through the moonhght on this EngHsh grass, 

The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild? 

Dost thou again peruse 

With hot cheeks and seared eyes 

The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's shame? 

Dost thou once more essay 

Thy flight, and feel come over thee, 

Poor fugitive, the feathery change 

Once more, and once more seem to make resound 

With love and hate, triumph and agony. 

Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale? 

Listen, Eugenia — 

How thick the bursts come crowding through the leaves! 

Again — thou hearest? 

Eternal passion! 

Eternal pain! 




The waste of moorland stretching to the west; 
The sea, low moaning in a strange unrest — 

A seaguirs cry. 

Washed by the tide. 
The rocks lie sullen in the waning light; 
The foam breaks in long strips of hungry white, 





I DRAGGED my body to the pool of sleep, 

Longing to drink; but ere my throbbing lip 

From the cool flood one Dives-drop might sip, 

The wave sank fluctuant to some unknown deep. 

With aching eyes that could not even weep, 

I saw the dark, deluding water slip, 

Slow eddying down; the weeds and mosses drip 

With maddening waste. I watched the sweet tide creep 

A little higher, but to fall more fast. 

Fevered and wounded in the strife of men 

I burned with anguish, till, endurance past, 

The fount crept upward; sank, and rose again, — 

Swelled slowly, slowly, slowly, — till at last 

My seared lips met the soothing wave, and then . 




Tiger, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What Immortal hand or eye 
Framed thy fearful symimetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies 
Burned that fire within thine eyes? 
On what wings dared he aspire? 
With what hand dared seize the fire? 

And what shoulder and what art 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
When the heart began to beat, 
What dread hand formed thy dread feet? 

What the hammer, what the chain. 
Knit thy strength and forged thy brain? 
What the anvil? What dread grasp 
Dared thy deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears 
And watered heaven with their tears. 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the lamb make thee? 


Tiger, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What Immortal hand or eye 
Dared frame thy fearful symmetry? 

[9 J 



The night has a thousand eyes, 
The day but one; 

Yet the Hght of the whole world dies 
With the dying sun. 

The mind has a thousand eyes, 
And the heart but one; 
Yet the light of a whole life dies 
When love is done. 





When our two souls stand up erect and strong, 
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher, 
Until the lengthening wings break into fire 

At either curved point, — what bitter wrong 

Can the earth do to us, that we should not long 
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher, 
The angels would press on us, and aspire 

To drop some golden orb of perfect song 

Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay- 
Rather on earth, Beloved, — where the unfit 

Contrarious moods of men recoil away 
And isolate pure spirits, and permit 

A place to stand and love in for a day. 

With darkness and the death-hour rounding it. 


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height 
My soul can reach, when feeUng out of sight 
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. 
I love thee to the level of every day's 
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. 
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; 
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. 


I love thee with the passion put to use 

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. 

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose 

With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath 

Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose, 

I shall but love thee better after death. 

[ 12 1 



Such a starved bank- of moss 

Till, that May-morn, 
Blue ran the flash across: 

Violets were born! 

Sky — what a scowl of cloud 

Till, near and far, 
Ray on ray spUt the shroud: 

Splendid, a star! 

World — how it walled about 

Life with disgrace 
Till Grod's own smile came out: 

That was thy face! 


My first thought was, he lied in every word. 
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye 
Askance to watch the working of his lie 
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford 
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored 
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. 

[ 13 ] 

What else should he be set for, with his staff? 
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare 
All travelers who might find him posted there. 
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh 
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph 
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare, 


If at his council I should turn aside 

Into that ominous tract which, all agree, 
Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly 

I did turn as he pointed: neither pride 

Nor hope rekindling at the end descried. 

So much as gladness that some end might be. 


For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, 

What with my search drawn out through years, my 

Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope 

With that obstreperous joy success would bring. — 

I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring 
My heart made, finding failure in its scope. 


As when a sick man very near to death 

Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end 
The tears, and takes the farewell of each friend, 
And hears one bid the other go, draw breath, 
Freelier outside, ("since all is o'er,'' he saith, 
"And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;") 



While some discuss if near the other graves 
Be room enough for this, and when a day- 
Suits best for carrjdng the corpse away, 
With care about the banners, scarves and staves: 
And still the man hears all, and only craves 
He may not shame such tender love and stay. 

♦ VII 

Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, 
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ 
So many times among "The Band" — to wit, 
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed 
Their steps — that just to fail as they, seemed best, 
And all the doubt was now — should I be fit? 


So, quiet as despair, I turned from him, 
That hateful cripple; out of his highway 
Into the path he pointed. All the day 
Had been a dreary one at best, and dim 
Was setting to its close, yet shot one grim. 
Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. 


For mark! no sooner was I fairly found 
Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two. 
Than, pausing to throw backward a last view 

O'er the safe road, 't was gone; gray plain all round: 

Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. 
I might go on; nought else remained to do. 

t 15] 


So, on I went. I think I never saw 
Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: 
For flowers — as well expect a cedar grove I 
But cockle, spurge, according to their law 
Might propagate their kind, with none to awe, 
You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. 

No! penury, inertness and grimace, 

In some strange sort were the land's portion. " See 
Or shut your eyes," said Nature peevishly, 

"It nothing skills: I cannot help my case; 

'T is the Last Judgment's fire must cure this place, 
Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free." 


If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk 
Above its mates, the head was chopped; the bents 
Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents 
In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to balk 
All hope of greenness? 't is a brute must walk 
Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents. 

As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair 

In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud 
Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. 
One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare. 
Stood stupefied, however he came there: 
Thrust out past service from the devil's stud I 

[ 16] 


Alive? he might be dead for aught I know, 

With that red gaunt and coUoped neck a-strain, 
And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane; 

Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe; 

I never saw a brute I hated so; 

He must be wicked to deserve such pain. 


I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart. 
As a man calls for wine before he fights, 
I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights, 

Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. 

Think first, fight afterwards — the soldier's art: 
One taste of the old time sets all to rights. 


Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face 
Beneath its garniture of curly gold, 
Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold 
An arm in mine to fix me to the place. 
That way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace! 
Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold. 

Giles then, the soul of honor — there he stands 
Frank as ten years ago when knighted first. 
What honest man should dare (he said) he durst. 

Good — but the scene shifts — faugh! what hangman 

Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands 
Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst! 

[ 17 ] 


Better this present than a past like that; 

Back therefore to my darkening path again! 

No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain. 
Will the night send a howlet or a bat? 
I asked: when something on the dismal flat 

Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train. 


A sudden little river crossed my path 

As unexpected as a serpent comes. 

No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms; 
This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath 
For the fiend's glowing hoof — to see the wrath 

Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes. 

So petty yet so spiteful! All along. 

Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it; 
Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit 
Of mute despair, a suicidal throng : 
The river which had done them all the wrong. 
Whatever that was, rolled by, deterred no whit. 


Which, while I forded, — good saints, how I feared 
To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek. 
Each step, or feel the spear I thrust to seek 

For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard! 

— It may have been a water-rat I speared. 
But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek. 



Glad was I when I reached the other bank. 

Now for a better country. Vain presage! 

Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage, 
Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank 
Soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank, 

Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage — 

The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque. 

What penned them there, with all the plain to choose? 

No footprint leading to that horrid mews, 
None out of it. Mad brewage set to work 
Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk 

Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews. 


And more than that — a furlong on — why, there! 
What bad use was that engine for, that wheel. 
Or brake, not wheel — that harrow fit to reel 

Men's bodies out like silk? with all the air 

Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware. 

Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel. 


Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood. 
Next a marsh, it would seem, and now mere earth 
Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth. 
Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood 
Changes and off he goes!) within a rood — 

Bog, clay, and rubble, sand and stark black dearth. 



Now blotches rankling, colored gay and grim, 
Now patches where some leanness of the soiFs 
Broke into moss or substances like boils; 

Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him 

Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim 
Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils. 


And just as far as ever from the end! 

Naught in the distance but the evening, naught 
To point my footstep further I At the thought 
A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom-friend, 
Sailed past, nor beat his wide wing dragon-penned 
That brushed my cap — perchance the guide I sought, 


For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, 
'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place 
All round to mountains — with such name to grace 

Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. 

How thus they had surprised me, — solve it, you! 
How to get from them was no clearer case. 


Yet half I seemed to recognize some trick 

Of mischief happened to me, God knows when — 
In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then. 

Progress this way. When, in the very nick 

Of giving up, one time more, came a click 

As when a trap shuts — you're inside the den! 



Burningly it came on me all at once, 

This was the place! those two hills on the right, 
Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; 

While to the left, a tail scalped mountain . . . Dunce, 

Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, 
After a life spent training for the sight! 


What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? 

The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart. 
Built of brown stone, without a counterpart 
In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf 
Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf 
He strikes on, only when the timbers start. 


Not see? because of night perhaps? — why, day 
Came back again for that! before it left, 
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft: 
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay, 
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, — 

" Now stab and end the creature — to the heft! " 


Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled 
Increasing hke a bell. Names in my ears. 
Of all the lost adventurers, my peers, — 

How such a one was strong, and such was bold. 

And such was fortimate, yet each of old 

Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years. 

[21 ] 


There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met 
To view the last of me, a living frame 
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame 
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet 
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, 

And blew. '' Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came. 


Faster and more fast, 
O'er night's brim, day boils at last : 
Boils, pure gold, o'er the cloud-cup's brim 
Where spurting and suppressed it lay; 
For not a froth-flake touched the rim 
Of yonder gap in the solid gray 
Of the eastern cloud, an hour away; 
But forth one wavelet, then another, curled, 
Till the whole sunrise, not to be suppressed. 
Rose, reddened, and its seething breast 
Flickered in bounds, grew gold, then overflowed the world. 


At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time, 
When you set your fancies free, 

Will they pass to where — by death, fools think, im- 
prisoned — 
Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so, 
— Pity me? 

[22 ] 

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken! 
What had I on earth to do 

With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly? 
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel 
— Being — who? 

One who never turned his back but marched breast 

Never doubted clouds would break; 
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong 

would triumph. 
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, 
Sleep to wake. 

No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time 
Greet the unseen with a cheer! 

Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be, 
'^Strive and thrive!" cry ''Speed, — fight on, fare ever 
There as here!" 


Where the quiet-colored end of evening smiles, 

Miles and miles 
On the sohtary pastures where our sheep 

Tinkle homeward through the twilight, stray or stop 

As they crop — 
Was the site once of a city great and gay, 

(So they say,) 


Of our country's very capital, its prince 

Ages since 
Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far 

Peace or war. 

Now, — the country does not even boast a tree, 

As you see, 
To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills 

From the hills 
Intersect and give a name to, (else they run 

Into one,) 
Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires 

Up like fires 
O'er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall 

Bounding all, 
Made of marble, men might march on nor be pressed, 

Twelve abreast. 

And such plenty and perfection, see, of grass 

Never was! 
Such a carpet as, this summer-time, overspreads 

And embeds 
Every vestige of the city, guessed alone, 

Stock or stone — 
Where a multitude of men breathed joy and woe 

Long ago; 
Lust of glory pricked their hearts up, dread of shame 

Struck them tame; 
And that glory and that shame alike, the gold 

Bought and sold. 


Now, — the single little turret that remains 

On the plains, 
By the caper overrooted, by the gourd 

While the patching houseleek's head of blossom winks 

Through the chinks — 
Marks the basement whence a tower in ancient time 

Sprang sublime, 
And a burning ring, all round, the chariots traced 

As they raced, 
And the monarch and his minions and his dames 

Viewed the games. 

And I know — while thus the quiet-colored eve 

Smiles to leave 
To their folding, all our many-tinkling fleece 

In such peace, 
And the slopes and rills in undistinguished gray 

Melt away — 
That a girl with eager eyes and yellow hair 

Waits me there 
In the turret whence the charioteers caught soul 

For the goal. 
When the king looked, where she looks now, breathless, 

TiU I come. 

But he looked upon the city, every side, 

Far and wide. 
All the mountains topped with temples, all the glades' 



All the causeys, bridges, aqueducts, — and then, 

All the men! 
When I do come, she will speak not, she will stand. 

Either hand 
On my shoulder, give her eyes the first embrace 

Of my face. 
Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech 

Each on each. 

In one year they sent a million fighters forth 

South and North, 
And they built their gods a brazen pillar high 

As the sky, 
Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force — 

Gold, of course. 
O heart! O blood that freezes, blood that burns! 

Earth's returns 
For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin! 

Shut them in. 
With their triumphs and their glories and the rest! 

Love is best. 


Fear death? — to feel the fog in my throat. 

The mist in my face. 
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote 

I am nearing the place. 
The power of the night, the press of the storm. 

The post of the foe; 
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form, 

Yet the strong man must go : 


For the journey is done and the summit attained, 

And the barriers fall, 
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained, 

The reward of it all. 
I was ever a fighter, so — one fight more, 

The best and the last! 
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore, 

And bade me creep past. 
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers 

The heroes of old, 
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears 

Of pain, darkness, and cold. 
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave, 

The black minute 's at end, 
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave. 

Shall dwindle, shall blend, 
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain. 

Then a light, then thy breast, 
O thou soul of my soul I I shall clasp thee again. 

And with God be the rest! 


I've a Friend, over the sea; 

I like him, but he loves me. 

It all grew out of the books I write; 

They find such favor in his sight 

That he slaughters you with savage looks 

Because you don't admire my books. 

He does himself though, — and if some vein 

Were to snap to-night in this heavy brain, 


To-morrow month, if I lived to try, 
Round should I just turn quietly. 
Or out of the bedclothes stretch my hand 
Till I found him, come from his foreign land 
To be my nurse in this poor place, 
And make my broth and wash my face 
And light my fire and, all the while. 
Bear with his old good-humored smile 
That I told him " Better have kept away 
Than come and kill me, night and day. 
With, worse than fever throbs and shoots, 
The creaking of his clumsy boots." 
I am as sure that this he would do. 
As that St. Paul's is striking two. 
And I think I rather . . . woe is me! 
— Yes, rather should see him than not see, 
If lifting a hand would seat him there 
Before me in the empty chair 
To-night, when my head aches indeed. 
And I can neither think nor read. 
Nor makes these purple fingers hold 
The pen; this garret's freezing cold! 

And I've a Lady — there he wakes. 
The laughing fiend and prince of snakes 
Within me, at her name to pray 
Fate send some creature in the way 
Of my love for her, to be down-torn, 
Upthrust and outward-borne, 
So I might prove myself that sea 
Of passion which I needs must be! 


Call my thoughts false and my fancies quaint 

And my style infirm and its figures faint, 

All the critics say, and more blame yet, 

And not one angry word you get. 

But, please you, wonder I would put 

My cheek beneath that lady's foot 

Rather than trample under mine 

The laurels of the Florentine, 

And you shall see how the devil spends 

A fire God gave for other ends! 

I tell you, I stride up and down 

This garret, crowned with love's best crown. 

And feasted with love's perfect feast, 

To think I kill for her, at least. 

Body and soul and peace and fame, 

Alike youth's end and manhood's aim, 

— So is my spirit, as flesh with sin. 
Filled full, eaten out and in 

With the face of her, the eyes of her, 

The lips, the little chin, the stir 

Of shadow round her mouth; and she 

— I '11 tell you — calmly would decree 
That I should roast at a slow fire, 

If that would compass her desire 
And make her one whom they invite 
To the famous ball to-morrow night. 

There may be heaven; there must be hell; 
Meantime, there is our earth here — well! 




To him who in the love of Nature holds 
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 
A various language ; for his gayer hours 
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 
Into his darker musings, with a mild 
And healing sympathy, that steals away 
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts 
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 
Over thy spirit, and sad images 
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall. 
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, 
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart; — 
Go forth, under the open sky, and list 
To Nature's teachings, while from all around — 
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air — 
Comes a still voice : — 

Yet a few days, and thee 
The all-beholding sun shall see no more 
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground. 
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears. 
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist 
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim 
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again; 
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 

[ 30 ] 

Thine individual being, shalt thou go 

To mix forever with the elements ; 

To be a brother to the insensible rock 

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain 

Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak 

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place 
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish 
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down 
With patriarchs of the infant world — with kings, 
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good, 
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, 
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills 
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales 
Stretching in pensive quietness between; 
The venerable woods; rivers that move 
In majesty, and the complaining brooks 
That make the meadows green ; and, poured round all, 
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste, — 
Are but the solemn decorations all 
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, 
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven. 
Are shining on the sad abodes of death. 
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread 
The globe are but a handful to the tribes 
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings 
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness. 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, 
Save his own dashings — yet the dead are there; 
And millions in those solitudes, since first 


The flight of years began, have laid them down 
In their last sleep, — the dead reign there alone. 
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw 
In silence from the living, and no friend 
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe 
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 
When thou art gone, the solenm brood of care 
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase 
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave 
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come 
And make their bed with thee. As the long train 
Of ages glide away, the sons of men — 
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes 
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid. 
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man — 
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, 
By those who in their turn shall follow them. 

So live, that when thy smnmons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan, which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death. 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night. 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 




When He returns, and finds the world so drear, 
All sleeping, young and old, unfair and fair, 
Will he stoop down and whisper in each ear, 
"Awaken!" or for pity's sake forbear. 
Saying, " How shall I meet their frozen stare 
Of wonder, and their eyes so full of fear? 
How shall I comfort them in their despair. 
If they cry out too late, ' Let us sleep here'?" 
Perchance He will not wake us up, but when 
He sees us look so happy in our rest. 
Will murmur, ''Poor dead women and dead men! 
Dire was their doom, and weary was their quest, - 
Wherefore awake them into life again? 
Let them sleep on untroubled — it is best." 




All down the years thy tale has rolled - 
A brilliant streak of burnished gold. 
Old Homer, near we seem to thee, 
As roving over vale and sea 
Thou tellest of thy hero t)old! 

For we too wander, as of old 
Thy hero did. The fates are doled 

To us the same, both serf and free. 
All down the years. 

None other yet has ever told 

So sweet a tale; as we unfold 

Thy mystic page we find the key 
Of human sorrow, guilt and glee, 

Which ever comes our souls to mould 
All down the years. 




O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose 
That's newly sprung in June: 

my Luve 's like the melodie 
That's sweetly play'd in tune. 

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 

So deep in luve am I : 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 

Till a' the seas gang dry: 

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt wi' the sun; 

1 will luve thee still, my dear. 
While the sands o' life shall run. 

And fare thee weel, my only Luve! 

And fare thee weel a while I 
And I will come again, my Luve, 

Tho' it were ten thousand mile. 




Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, timorous beastie, 
O, what a panic's in thy breastie! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 

Wi' bickering brattle! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 

Wi' murdering pattle! 

I'm truly sorry man's dominion 
Has broken nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion, 

Which makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor earth-born companion, 

An' fellow mortal I 

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live I 
A daimen-icker in a thrave 

'S a sma' request: 
I '11 get a blessin wi' the lave, 

And never miss 't. 

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin! 
Its silly wa's the winds are strewin! 
An' naething, now, to big a new ane, 

O' foggage green! 
An' bleak December's winds ensuin, 

Baith snell an' keen! 


Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, 
An' weary winter comin fast, 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast. 

Thou thought to dwell, 
Till crash! the cruel coulter pass'd 

Out thro' thy cell. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble. 
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! 
Now thou 's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble. 

But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble. 

An' cranreuch cauld! 

But, mousie, thou art no thy lane. 
In proving foresight may be vain: 
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 

Gang aft a-gley. 
An' leave us nought but grief and pain. 

For promised joy. 

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me! 
The present only toucheth thee; 
But, och! I backward cast my e'e 

On prospects drear! 
An' forward, tho' I canna see, 

I guess an' fear. 



Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind! 

Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, 

For there thy habitation is the heart — 
The heart which love of thee alone can bind; 
And when thy sons to fetters are consigned — 

To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom, 

Their country conquers with their martyrdom. 
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. 
Chillon! thy prison is a holy place, 

And thy sad floor an altar — for 't was trod. 
Until his very steps have left a trace 

Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, 
By Bonnivard! — May none those marks efface! 

For they appeal from tyranny to God. 




The tall carnations down the garden walks 
Bowed on their stalks. 

Said Jock-a-dreams to John-a-nods, 

" What are the odds 

That we shall wake up here within the sun, 

When time is done, 

And pick up all the treasures one by one ^ 

Our hands let fall in sleep?" "You have begun 

To mutter in your dreams," 

Said John-a-nods to Jock-a-dreams, 

And they both slept again. 

The tall carnations in the sunset glow 
Burned row on row. 

Said John-a-nods to Jock-a-dreams, 

" To me it seems 

A thousand years since last you stirred and spoke, 

And I awoke. 

Was that the wind then trying to provoke 

His brothers in their blessed sleep?" "They choke, 

Who mutter in their nods," 

Said Jock-a-dreams to John-a-nods, 

And they both slept again. 

The tall carnations only heard a sigh 
Of dusk go by. 

By permission ofL. C. Page Co. 



Two shapes of august bearing, seraph tall, 
Of indolent imperturbable regard, 
Stood in the tavern door to drink. As the first • 
Lifted his glass to let the warm light melt 
In the slow bubbles of the wine, a sunbeam, 
Red and broad as smouldering autunm, smote 
Down through its mystery; and a single fleck. 
The tiniest s\m-mote settling through the air, 
Fell on the grape-dark surface and there swam. 

Gently the Drinker with fastidious care 

Stretched his hand to clear the speck away. " No, no! ' 

His comrade stayed his arm. "Why," said the first, 

"What would you have me do?" " Ah, let it float 

A moment longer!" And the second smiled. 

"Do you not know what that is?" "No, indeed." 

" A mere dust-mote, a speck of soot, you think, 

A plague-germ still unsatisfied. It is not. 

That is the Earth. See, I will stretch my hand 

Between it and the Sun; the passing shadow 

Gives its poor dwellers a glacial period. 

Let it stand an hour, it would dissolve. 

Intangible as the color of the wine. 

There, throw it away! Lift it from the sweet 

Enveloping flood it has enjoyed so well." 

(He smiled as only those who live can smile) 

" Its time is done, its revelry complete. 

Its being accomplished. Let us drink again." 

By permission ofL. C. Page Co. 

[40 J 



Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote 

The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, 

And bathed every veyne in swich Hcour, 

Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 

Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth 

Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 

The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 

Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, 

And smale fowles maken melody e, 

That slepen al the night with open y6, 

(So priketh hem nature in hir corages) : 

Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages 

(And palmers for to seken straunge strondes) 

To feme halwes, couthe in sondry londes; 

And specially, from every shires ende 

Of Engelond, to Canterbury they wende. 

The holy blisful martir for to seke, 

That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke. 




In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure-dome decree, 

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran, 

Through caverns measureless to man, 
Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round; 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 

But O that deep romantic chasm which slanted 

Down the green hill athwart a cedam cover! 

A savage place! as holy and enchanted 

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted 

By woman wailing for her demon-lover! 

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, 

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, 

A mighty fountain momently was forced; 

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail; 

And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever 

It flung up momently the sacred river. 


Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, 
Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean, 
And 'mid this tmnult Kubla heard from far 
Ancestral voices prophesying war. 

The shadow of the dome of pleasure 
Floated midway on the waves 
Where was heard the mingled measure 
From the fountain and the caves. 
It was a miracle of rare device, 
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice! 
A damsel with a dulcimer 
In a vision once I saw; 
It was an Abyssinian maid. 
And on her dulcimer she played, 
Singing of Mount Abora. 
Could I revive within me 
Her symphony and song. 
To such a deep delight 't would win me, 
That with music loud and long, 
I would build that dome in air. 
That sunny dome! those caves of ice! 
And all who heard should see them there, 
And all should cry, Beware! Beware 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair! 
Weave a circle round him thrice. 
And close your eyes with holy dread, 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise. 




O SINGER of the field and fold 

THEOCRITUS! Pan's pipe was thine, - 
Thine was the happier Age of Gold. 

For thee the scent of new-turned mould, 

The bee-hives, and the murmuring pine, 
O singer of the field and fold! 

Thou sang'st the simple feasts of old, — 

The beechen bowl made glad with wine . 
Thine was the happier Age of Gold! 

Thou bad'st the rustic loves be told, — 

Thou bad'st the tuneful reeds combine, 
O singer of the field and fold! 

And round thee, ever laughing, rolled 

The blithe and blue Sicilian brine . . . 
Thine was the happier Age of Gold. 

Alas for us! our songs are cold: 

Our northern suns too sadly shine : — 
O singer of the field and fold, 
Thine was the happier Age of Gold. 



*♦ Si vieiUesse pouvait ! — " 

Scene. — A smalls neat Room, In a high Voltaire Chair 
sits a white-haired old Gentleman. 


M. VIEUXBOIS {turning querulously). 
Day of my life! Where can she get? 
Babettel I sayl Babette! — Babettel! 

BABETTE {entering hurriedly). 
Coming, M'sieuM If M'sieu' speaks 
So loud he won't be well for weeks! 


Where have you been? 


Why, M'sieu' knows: — 
April 1 . . . Ville-d'Avray! . . . Ma'am'selle Rose I 


Ah! I am old, — and I forget. 

Was the place growing green, Babette? 


But of a greenness! — yes, M'sieuM 
And then the sky so blue! — so blue! 


And when I dropped my immortelle, 
How the birds sang! 

{Lifting her apron to her eyes.) 

This poor Ma'am'selle! 


You're a good girl, Babette, but she, — 

She was an Angel, verily. 

Sometimes I think I see her yet 

Stand smiling by the cabinet; 

And once, I know, she peeped and laughed 

Betwixt the curtains . . . 

Where's the draught? 
{She gives him a cup.) 
Now I shall sleep, I think, Babette; — 
Sing me your Norman chansonnette. 

BABETTE {sings). 
" Once at the Angelus 
{Ere I was dead), 
Angels all glorious 

Came to my Bed; — 
Angels in blue and white 
Crowned on the Head.^' 

M. VIEUXBOIS {drowsily). 

"She was an Angel" . . . "Once she laughed" . . . 
What, was I dreaming? 

Where's the draught? 

BABETTE {showing the empty cup). 
The draught, M'sieu'? 



How I forget! 
I am so old! But sing, Babette! 

BABETTE {sings). 

" One was the Friend I left 

Stark in the Snow; 
One was the Wife who died 

Long J — long ago; 
One was the Love I lost . . . 

How could she know f " 

M. VIEUXBOIS {murmuring). 
Ah, Paul! ... old Paul! . . . Eulalie too! 
And Rose! . . . And O! "the sky so blue!" 

BABETTE (sings) . 
" One had my Mothers eyes, 
Wistful and mild; 
One had my Father^ s face; 

One was a Child: 
A II of them bent to me, — 
Bent down and smiled! ^^ 
(He is asleep!) 

VIEUXBOIS (almost inavdibly), 
"How I forget!" 
'^ am so old" . . . "Good night, Babette!" 




Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine 
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed 
Upon my soul between the kisses and the mne. 
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion. 
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara I in my fashion. 

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat. 
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay; 
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet; 
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, 

When I awoke and found the dawn was gray: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone vdth the wind. 
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng. 
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind; 
Yet I was desolate and sick of an old passion. 

Yea, all the time, because the dance was long: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine, 
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire, 


Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine; 
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion, 

Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 




Since there ^s no help, come, let us kiss and part; 

Nay, I have done, — you get no more of me; 

And I am glad, — yea, glad with all my heart, 

That thus so cleanly I myself can free. 

Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows, 

And when we meet at any time again 

Be it not seen in either of our brows 

That we one jot of former love retain. 

Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath. 

When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies, 

When Faith is kneehng by his bed of death, 

And Innocence is closing up his eyes. 

Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over 

From death to life thou might'st him yet recover. 




If the red slayer think he slays, 
Or if the slain think he is slain, 

They know not well the subtle ways 
I keep, and pass, and turn again. 

Far or forgot to me is near; 

Shadow and sunhght are the same; 
The vanished gods to me appear; 

And one to me are shame and fame. 

They reckon ill who leave me out; 

When me they fly, I am the wings; 
I am the doubter and the doubt. 

And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. 

The strong gods pine for my abode. 
And pine in vain the sacred Seven; 

But thou, meek lover of the good! 

Find me, and turn thy back on heaven. 


The sun set; but set not his hope: 
Stars rose; his faith was earher up: 
Fixed on the enormous galaxy, 

[ 51 ] 

Deeper and older seemed his eye : 

And matched his sufferance subHme 

The taciturnity of time. 

He spoke, and words more soft than rain 

Brought the Age of Gold again: 

His action won such reverence sweet, 

As hid all measure of the feat. 


By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 

Here once the embattled farmers stood. 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

The foe long since in silence slept; 

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; 
And Time the ruined bridge lias swept 

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. 

On this green bank, by this soft stream, 

We set to-day a votive stone; 
That memory may their deed redeem. 

When, like our sires, our sons are gone. 

Spirit, that made those heroes dare 
To die, and leave their children free. 

Bid Time and Nature gently spare 
The shaft we raise to them and Thee. 



Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days, 

Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes, 

And marching single in an endless file, 

Bring diadems and fagots in their hands. 

To each they offer gifts after his will, 

Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all. 

I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp, 

Forgot my morning wishes, hastily 

Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day 

Turned and departed silent. I, too late. 

Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn. 


Hast thou named all the birds without a gun? 

Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk? 

At rich men's tables eaten bread and pulse? 

Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust? 

And loved so well a high behavior, 

In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained, 

Nobility more nobly to repay? 

Oh, be my friend, and teach me to be thine! 


Not from a vain or shallow thought 
His awful Jove young Phidias brought; 
Never from lips of cunning fell 
The thrilling delphic oracle; 


Out from the heart of nature rolled 
The burdens of the Bible old; 
The litanies of nations came, 
Like the volcano's tongue of flame, 
Up from the burning core below, — 
The canticles of love and woe; 
The hand that rounded Peter's dome, 
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome, 
Wrought in a sad sincerity; 
Himself from God he could not free; 
He builded better than he knew; — 
The conscious stone to beauty grew. 


In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, 

I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods. 

Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, 

To please the desert and the sluggish brook. 

The purple petals, fallen in the pool. 

Made the black water with their beauty gay; 

Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, 

And court the flower that cheapens his array. 

Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why 

This charm is wasted on the earth and sky. 

Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, 

Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: 

Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! 

I never thought to ask, I never knew: 

But, in my simple ignorance, suppose 

The selfsame Power that brought me there, brought you. 

[ 54] 



If ever thou should'st cease to think of me 

With love, and turn thy soul's sweet warmth to ice — 

Stop not my mouth with kisses! Change may be, 

As all do know who take for their device 

A bleeding heart! — If any change should seal 

To me the gates of uttermost Paradise, 

And I should darkling fare with no repeal 
In company of them that, love-forsaken, 
Before cold shrines and at dead altars kneel, 

Remember this: I bade thy heart awaken; 

Here, in this hand, it lay a prisoner! 

Thy first mad love-kiss from my Hps was taken, 

And with my breath thy first sighs melted were! 
Remember this — I loved thee well and long. 
Thou haven to me, a sea-worn wanderer. 

Then, though my voice be drowned in the clear song 
Of some new love, and I forgotten be 
Or all-despised, think thou in my wrong 


Some good there was, some truth akhi with thee, 
Some light half-seen, since I could tune a soul 
Virgin as thine to perfect harmony. 
And crown thy brow with Love's pure aureole . . 




The little toy dog is covered with dust, 

But sturdy and staunch he stands; 
And the Httle toy soldier is red with rust, 

And his musket moulds in his hands. 
Time was when the Httle toy dog was new, 

And the soldier was passing fair; 
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue 

Kissed them and put them there. 

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said, 

"And don't you make any noise — !" 
So, toddhng off to his trundle-bed. 

He dreamt of the pretty toys. 
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song 

Awakened our Little Boy Blue — 
Oh! the years are many, the years are long, 

But the little toy friends are true! 

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand. 

Each in the same old place, 
AwaitiQg the touch of a Httle hand. 

The smile of a Httle face; 

From " With Trumpet and Drum^'' copyright 1892, by Mary French Field, 
published by Charles Scribner^s Sons. 

[ 57] 

And they wonder, as waiting these long years through, 

In the dust of that Httle chair, 
What has become of our Little Boy Blue 

Since he kissed them and put them there. 


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night 

Sailed off in a wooden shoe — 
Sailed on a river of crystal Hght, 

Into a sea of dew. 
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?'' 
The old moon asked the three. 
" We have come to fish for the herring fish 
That Hve in this beautiful sea; 
Nets of silver and gold have we!" 
Said Wynken, 
And Nod. 

The old moon laughed and sang a song. 
As they rocked in the wooden shoe, 

And the wind that sped them all night long 
Ruffled the waves of dew. 

The Httle stars were the herring fish 
That Hved in the beautiful sea — 
" Now cast your nets wherever you wish — 
Never afeard are we;" 

From ** With Trumpet and Drum,''^ copyright 1892, hy Mary French Field, 
published hy Charles Scribner''s Sons. 


So cried the stars to the fishermen three: 
And Nod. 

All night long their nets they threw 

To the stars in the tmnkHng foam — 
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe, 

Bringing the fishermen home; 
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed 

As if it could not be, 
And some folks thought ^t was a dream they 'd dreamed 
Of sailing that beautiful sea — 
But I shall name you the fishermen three: 
And Nod. 

Wynken and Blynken are two Httle eyes. 

And Nod is a little head, 
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies 

Is a wee one's trundle-bed. 
So shut your eyes while mother sings 

Of wonderful sights that be, 
And you shall see the beautiful things 
As you rock in the misty sea, 
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three: 
And Nod. 




Hot hands that yearn to touch her flower-Hke face, 
With fingers spread, I set you Hke a weir 
To stem this ice-cold stream in its career, — 

And chill your pulses there a little space; 

Brown hands, what right have you to claim the grace 
To touch her head so infinitely dear? 
Learn courteously to wait and to revere. 

Lest haply ye be found in sorry case, 

Hot hands that yearn! 

But if ye pluck her flowers at my behest. 

And bring her crystal water from the well, 

And bend a bough for shade when she will rest, 
And if she find you fain and teachable, 
That flower-like face, perchance, ah! who can tell? 

In your embrace may some sweet day be found. 
Hot hands that yearn! 


Among the flowers of summer-time she stood, 

And underneath the films and blossoms shone 
Her face, like some pomegranate strangely grown 

To ripe magnificence in sohtude; 


The wanton winds, deft whisperers, had strewed 
Her shoulders with her shining hair outblown, 
And dyed her robe with many a changing tone 

Of silvery green, and all the hues that brood 
Among the flowers; 

She raised her arm up for her dove to know 

That he might perch him on her lovely head; 

Then I, unseen, and rising on tip-toe, 

Bowed over the rose-barrier, and lo, 

Touched not her arm, but kissed her lips instead 
Among the flowers! 


What curled and scented sun-girls, almond-eyed, 
With lotus blossoms in their hands and hair. 
Have made their swarthy lovers call them fair, 
With these spent strings, when brutes were deified, 
And Memnon in the sunrise sprang and cried, 
And love-winds smote Bubastis, and the bare, 
Black breasts of carven Pasht received the prayer 
Of suppHants bearing gifts from far and wide! 
This lute has outsung Egypt; all the lives 
Of violent passion, and the vast calm art 
That lasts in granite only, all lie dead; 
This little bird of song alone survives. 
As fresh as when its fluting smote his heart 
Last time the brown slave wore it garlanded. 

[ 61 1 


The girl who once, on Lydian heights, 

Around the sacred grove of pines, 
Would dance through whole tempestuous nights 

When no moon shines, 
Whose pipe of lotus featly blown 
Gave airs as shrill as Cotys' own. 

Who, crowned with buds of ivy dark, 

Three times drained deep with amorous lips 

The wine-fed bowl of willow-bark. 
With silver tips, 

Nor sank, nor ceased, but shouted still 

Like some wild wind from hill to hill, 

She lies at last where poplars wave 
Their sad gray foHage all day long; 

The river murmurs near her grave 
A soothing song; 

Farewell, it saith! Her days have done 

With shouting at the set of sun. 



TO F. H. 

** * Fra tutte il primo Arnoldo Danielle 
Grand maestro d' amor.' " — Petrarch. 

In fair Provence, the land of lute and rose, 
Amaut, great master of the lore of love, 
First wrought sestines to win his lady's heart; 
For she was deaf when simpler staves he sang, 
And for her sake he broke the bonds of rhyme, 
And in this subtler measure hid his woe. 

"Harsh be my Unes," cried Arnaut, "harsh the woe, 
My lady, that enthroned and cruel rose. 
Inflicts on him that made her live in rhyme!'* 
But through the meter spake the voice of Love, 
And like a TNild-wood nightingale he sang 
Who thought in crabbed lays to ease his heart. 

It is not told if her untoward heart 

Was melted by her poet's lyric woe, 

Or if in vain so amorously he sang. 

Perchance through crowd of dark conceits he rose 

To nobler heights of philosopliic love, 

And crowned his later years with sterner rhyme. 

This thing alone we know: the triple rhyme 
Of him who bared his vast and passionate heart 
To all the crossing flames of hate and love 


Wears in the midst of all its storm of woe, — 
As some loud morn in March may bear a rose, — 
The impress of a song that Arnaut sang. 

" Smith of his mother-tongue," the Frenchman sang 
Of Lancelot and of Galahad, the rhyme 
That beat so bloodhke at its core of rose, 
It stirred the sweet Francesca^s gentle heart 
To take that kiss that brought her so much woe, 
And sealed in fire her martyrdom of love. 

And Dante, full of her immortal love, 

Stayed his drear song, and softly, fondly sang 

As though his voice broke with that weight of woe; 

And to this day we think of Arnaut's rhyme 

Whenever pity at the labouring heart 

On fair Francesca's memory drops the rose. 

Ah! sovereign Love, forgive this weaker rhyme! 
The men of old who sang were great at heart, 
Yet have we too known woe, and worn thy rose. 




The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 
The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea, 
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way. 
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 

Now fades the glinmiVing landscape on the sight, 
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, 
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight. 
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; 

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower. 
The moping owl does to the moon complain 
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r. 
Molest her ancient soHtary reign. 

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade. 
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap. 
Each in his narrow cell forever laid, 
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

The breezy call of incense-breathing Mom, 
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, 
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, 
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 


For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, 
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: 
No children run to Hsp their sire's return, 
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. 

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, 
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke : 
How jocund did they drive their team afield! 
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! 

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 
The short and simple annals of the poor. 

The boast of Heraldry, the pomp of Pow'r, 
And all that Beauty, all that Wealth e'er gave. 
Await alike th' inevitable hour; 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, 
If Mem'ry o'er their tombs no trophies raise. 
Where through the long drawn aisle, and fretted vault. 
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 

Can storied urn, or animated bust, 
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? 
Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust, 
Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death? 

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid 

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; 

[ 66] 

Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd, 
Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre. 

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, 
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll; 
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage, 
And froze the genial current of the soul. 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear; 
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

Some village Hampden, that vdth dauntless breast 
The little tyrant of his fields withstood; 
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, 
Some Cromwell guiltless of liis country's blood. 

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command. 
The threats of pain and ruin to despise. 
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, 
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes. 

Their lot forbade : nor circumscrib'd alone 
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd; 
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, 
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; 

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, 
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame. 
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride 
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. 


Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife 
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; 
Along the cool sequestered vale of life 
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. 

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect, 

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, 

With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, 

Implores the pleasiug tribute of a sigh. 

Their names, their years, spelt by th' unlettered Muse, 
The place of fame and elegy supply; 
And many a holy text around she strews, 
That teach the rustic moralist to die. 

For who, to dumb forge tfulness a prey. 
This pleasiug anxious being e'er resigned. 
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day. 
Nor cast one longing, Hng'ring look behind? 

On some fond breast the parting soul relies. 
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; 
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, 
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires. 

For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonor'd dead, 
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; 
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led. 
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, 

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, 
" Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn. 


Brushing with hasty steps the dew away, 
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. 

" There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, 
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, 
His listless length at noontide would he stretch. 
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 

'' Hard by yon wood, now smiling as Lq scorn, 
Mutt 'ring his wayward fancies he would rove; 
Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn, 
Or craz'd with care, or crossed in hopeless love. 

'* One morn, I missed him on th' accustom^ hill. 
Along the heath, and near his favorite tree; 
Another came, nor yet beside the rill. 
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; 

''The next, with dirges due, iu sad array. 
Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne, 
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, 
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." 


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth, 
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown: 
Fair Science frown' d not on his humble birth, 
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. 

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, 
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send: 


He gave to Misery all he had, a tear; 

He gained from Heav'n, 't was all he wished, a friend. 

No farther seek his merits to disclose, 
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode: 
(There they ahke in trembling hope repose) 
The bosom of his Father and his God. 




Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my miconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of ^\Tath and tears 
Looms but the Hon-or of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds and shall find me, unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate : 
I am the captain of my soul. 

[ 71 ] 


A LATE lark twitters from the quiet skies 

And from the west, 

Where the sun, his day's work ended. 

Lingers as in content, 

There falls on the old, gray city 

An influence luminous and serene, 

A shining peace. 

The smoke ascends 

In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires 

Shine, and are changed. In the valley 

Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun 

Closing its benediction, 

Sinks, and the darkening air 

Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night — 

Night with her train of stars 

And her great gift of sleep. 

So be my passing 1 

My task accompHshed and the long day done. 

My wages taken, and in my heart 

Some late lark singing. 

Let me be gathered to the quiet west, 

The sundown splendid and serene. 


[ 72] 



Bird of the wilderness, 
Blythesome and cumberless, 

Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea! 
Emblem of happiness, 
Blest is thy dwelling-place — 

O to abide in the desert with thee! 
Wild is thy lay and loud 

Far in the downy cloud, 

Love gives it energy, love gave it birth. 
Where, on thy dewy wing, 
Where art thou journeying? 

Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth. 

O'er fell and fountain sheen. 

O'er moor and mountain green, 
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day, 

Over the cloudlet dim, 

Over the rainbow's rim. 
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away I 

Then, when the gloaming comes, 

Low in the heather blooms. 
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be! 

Emblem of happiness. 

Blest is thy dwelling-place — 
O to abide in the desert with thee! 

[ 73 ] 



This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, 

Sails the unshadowed main, — 

The venturous bark that flings 
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings 
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, 

And coral reefs lie bare, 
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair. 

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; 

Wrecked is the ship of pearl! 

And every chambered cell, 
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, 
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, 

Before thee lies revealed, — 
Its irised ceiHng rent, its sunless crypt unsealed! 

Year after year beheld the silent toil 

That spread his lustrous coil; 

Still, as the spiral grew. 
He left the past year's dwelling for the new. 
Stole with soft step its shining archway through. 

Built up its idle door, 
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no 


Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, 

Child of the wandering sea, 

Cast from her lap, forlorn! 
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born 
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn I 

While on mine ear it rings. 
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that 
sings : — 

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 

As the swift seasons roll! % 

Leave thy low-vaulted past! 
Let each new temple, nobler than the last. 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 

Till thou at length art free, 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea! 


I SAW him once before, 
As he passed by the door. 

And again 
The pavement stones resound, ^ 

As he totters o'er the ground 

With his cane. 

They say that in his prime. 
Ere the pruning-knife of Time 

Cut him down. 
Not a better man was found 
By the Crier on his round 

Through the town. 


But now he walks the streets, 
And he looks at all he meets 

Sad and wan, 
And he shakes his feeble head, 
That it seems as if he said, 

"They are gone." 

The mossy marbles rest 

On the hps that he has prest 

In their bloom, 
And the names he loved to hear 
Have been carved for many a year 

On the tomb. 

My grandmamma has said, — 
Poor old lady, she is dead 

Long ago, — 
That he had a Roman nose, 
And his cheek was like a rose 

In the snow. 

But now his nose is thin. 
And it rests upon his chin 

Like a staff, 
And a crook is in his back. 
And a melancholy crack 

In his laugh. 

I know it is a sin 
For me to sit and grin 
At him here; 

176 1 

But the old three-cornered hat, 
And the breeches, and all that, 
Are so queer! 

And if I should Kve to be 
The last leaf upon the tree 

In the spring, 
Let them smile, as I do now, 
At the old forsaken bough 

Where I cling. 




Why did I kiss you, sweet? 

Nor you nor I can say. 

You might have said some commonplace, 

I might have turned away. 

No thought was in our hearts 
Of what we were to be. 
Fate sent a madness on our souls 
And swept us out to sea. 

Fate, between breath and breath, 
Has made the world anew, 
And the bare skies of yesterday 
Are all aflame with you. 


What did he say? 

To seek love otherwhere 

Nor bind the soul to clay? 

It may be so — I cannot tell — 

But I know that life is fair, 

And love's bold clarion in the air 

Outdins his little vesper bell. 


Love God? Can I touch God with both my hands? 

Can I breathe in his hair and touch his cheek? 

He is too far to seek. 

If nowhere else be love, who understands 

What thing it is? 

This love is but a name that wise men speak. 

God hath no hps to kiss. 

Let God be; surely, if he will. 

At the end of days, 

He can win love as well as praise. 

Why must we spill 

The human love out at his feet? 

Let be this talk of good and ill I 

Though God be God, art thou not fair and sweet? 

Open the window; let the air 

Blow in on us. 

It is enough to find you fair, 

To touch with fingers timorous 

Your sunlit hair, — 

To turn my body to a prayer. 

And kiss you — thus. 




Once on my mother's breast, a child, I crept, 

Holding my breath; 
There, safe and sad, lay shuddering, and wept 

At the dark mystery of Death. 

Weary and weak, and worn with all unrest, 

Spent with the strife, — 
O mother, let me weep upon thy breast 

At the sad mystery of Life! 




A THIN wet sky, that yellows at the rim, 
And meets with sun-lost lip the marshes brim. 

The pools low l5dng, dank with moss and mould, 
Glint through their mildews like large cups of gold. 

Among the wild rice in the still lagoon, 
In monotone the lizard shiills his tune. 

The wild goose, homing, seeks a sheltering, 
Where rushes grow, and oozing lichens cHng. 

Late cranes with heavy wing, and lazy flight, 
Sail up the silence with the nearing night. 

And Hke a spirit, swathed in some soft veil, 
Steals twilight and its shadows o'er the swale. 

Hushed he the sedges, and the vapors creep. 
Thick, grey and humid, while the marshes sleep. 

From ^^Tekahionwakej^' pvblished by Lamson, Wolfe tf Co., Boston. 




Drink to me only with thine eyes, 

And I will pledge with mine; 
Or leave a kiss but in the cup 

And I ^11 not look for wine. 
The thirst that from the soul doth rise 

Doth ask a drink divine; 
But might I of Jove's nectar sup, 

I would not change for tliine. 

I sent thee late a rosy wreath, 

Not so much honouring thee 
As giving it a hope that there 

It could not withered be; 
But thou thereon didst only breathe 

And sent'st it back to me; 
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear, 

Not of itself but thee! 




Thou still unravished bride of quietness! 

Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, 
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express 

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: 
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape 

Of deities or mortals, or of both, 
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? 

What men or gods are these? What maidens loath? 
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? 

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard 

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; 
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared, 

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone : 
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; 
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss. 
Though winning near the goal — yet, do not grieve; 
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss. 

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed 
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; 

And, happy melodist, unwearied. 
For ever piping songs for ever new; 


More happy love! more happy, happy love! 
For ever warm and still to be enjoyed, 
For ever panting and for ever young; 
All breathing human passion far above, 

That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloyed, 
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 

Who are these coming to the sacrifice? 

To what green altar, O mysterious priest, 
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies. 

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? 
What Httle town by river or sea-shore. 

Or moimtain-built with peaceful citadel. 
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? 
And, little town, thy streets for evermore 

Will silent be; and not a soul to tell 
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede 

Of marble men and maidens overwrought. 
With forest branches and the trodden weed; 

Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought 
As doth eternity. Cold pastoral! 

When old age shall this generation waste. 
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe 

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st: 
" Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all 

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." 



My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains 
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk; 
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 
One minute past, and Lethe-ward had sunk. 
'T is not through envy of thy happy lot, 
But being too happy in thy happiness, 
That thou, hght-\\inged Dryad of the trees, 
In some melodious plot 
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 
Singest of Summer in full-throated ease. 

O for a draught of vintage that hath been 

Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth, 

Tasting of Flora and the country green. 

Dance, and Provengal song, and sunburned mirth I 

O for a beaker full of the warm South, 

Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 

With beaded bubbles winking at the brim. 

And purple-stained mouth, — 

That I might drink, and leave the world unseen. 

And with thee fade away into the forest dim. 

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 

What thou among the leaves hast never known, 

The weariness, the fever, and the fret; 

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan. 

Where palsy shakes a few sad, last grey hairs. 

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies, 


Where but to think is to be full of sorrow 
And leaden-eyed despairs, 
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, 
Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow. 

Away! away! for I will fly to thee! 

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, 

But on the viewless wings of poesy, 

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards; 

Already with thee tender is the night. 

And haply the queen-moon is on her throne. 

Clustered around by all her starry fays; 

But here there is no light, 

Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown 

Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. 

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, 
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs; 
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet 
Wherewith the seasonable month endows 
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild, — 
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; 
Fast-fading violets, covered up in leaves; 
And mid-May's eldest child. 
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine. 
The murmurous haunt of bees on summer eves. 

Darkling I Hsten; and for many a time 
I have been half in love with easeful Death, 
Called him soft names in many a musdd rhyme. 
To take into the air my quiet breath; 


Now, more than ever, seems it rich to die, 

To cease upon the midnight, with no pain, 

While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad 

In such an ecstasy! 

Stni wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain, — 

To thy high requiem become a sod. 

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird I 

No hungry generations tread thee down; 

The voice I hear this passing night was heard 

In ancient days by emperor and clown: 

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, 

She stood in tears amid the ahen corn; 

The same that oft-times hath 

Charmed magic casements opening on the foam 

Of perilous seas, in fairy lands forlorn. 

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell. 

To toll me back from thee to my sole self! 

Adieu! the Fancy cannot cheat so well 

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. 

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades 

Past the near meadows, over the still stream, 

Up the hillside; and now 't is buried deep 

In the next valley-glades: 

Was it a vision, or a waking dream? 

Fled is that music, — do I wake or sleep? 



Much have I travelled in the reahns of gold, 
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 
Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. 
Oft of one "wide expanse had I been told 
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne: 
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken; 
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 
He stared at the Pacific — and all his men 
Looked at each other with a wild surmise — 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. 


My spirit is too weak — mortality 
Weighs heavily on me like imwilling sleep. 
And each imagined pinnacle and steep 
Of godHke hardship tells me I must die 
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky. 
Yet 't is a gentle luxury to weep 
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep, 
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye. 
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain 
Bring round the heart an indescribable feud; 


So do these wonders, a dizzy pain, 
That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude 
Wasting of old Time — with a billowy main — 
A sun — a shadow of a magnitude. 


When I have fears that I may cease to be 
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain. 
Before high-piled books, in charactery 
Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain; 
When I behold, upon the night's starred face, 
Huge, cloudy symbols of a high romance. 
And think that I may never live to trace 
Their shadows, with the magic hand of Chance; 
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour I 
That I shall never look upon thee more, 
Never have reUsh in the fairy power 
Of unreflecting love, — then on the shore 
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think 
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink. 




As one that for a weary space has lain 
Lulled by the song of Circe and her wane 
In gardens near the pale of Proserpine, 
Where that ^gean isle forgets the main, 
And only the low lutes of love complain, 
And only shadows of wan lovers pine, 
As such an one were glad to know the brine 
Salt on his lips, and the large air again — 
So gladly, from the songs of modern speech 
Men turn, and see the stars, and feel the free 
Shrill wind beyond the close of heavy flowers, 
And through the music of the languid hours, 
They hear like ocean on a western beach 
The surge and thunder of the Odyssey. 


There is a land in the remotest day, 

Where the soft night is born, and sunset dies; 
The eastern shores see faint tides fade away. 

That wash the lands where laughter, tears and sighs 
Make life, — the lands beneath the blue of common skies. 

But in the west is a mysterious sea, 

(What sails have seen it, or what shipmen known?) 
With coasts enchanted where the Sirens be. 


With islands where a Goddess walks alone, 
And in the cedar trees the magic winds make moan. 

Eastward the hmnan cares of house and home, 
Cities, and ships, and imknown Gods, and loves! 

Westward, strange maidens fairer than the foam, 

And lawless Hves of men, and haunted groves, 

Wherein a God may dweU, and where the Dryad roves. 

The Gods are careless of the days and death 
Of toilsome men, beyond the western seas; 

The Gods are heedless of their painful breath. 
And love them not, for they are not as these; 
But in the golden west they Hve and he at ease. 

Yet the Phaeacians well they love, who Hve 
At the Hght's limit, passing careless hours. 

Most like the Gods; and they have gifts to give, 
Even wine, and fountains musical, and flowers, 
And song, and if they will, swift ships, and magic powers. 

It is a quiet midland; in the cool 

Of twilight comes the God, though no man prayed, 
To watch the maids and young men beautiful 
Dance, and they see him, and are not afraid, 
For they are near of kin to Gods, and undismayed. 

Ah, would the bright red prows might bring us nigh 

The dreamy isles that the Immortals keep! 
But with a mist they hide them wondrously, 
And far the path and dim to where they sleep, — 
The loved, the shadowy lands along the shadowy deep. 

[ 91 ] 


The Sirens once were maidens innocent 

That through the water-meads with Proserpine 

Plucked no fire-hearted flowers, but were content 
Cool fritillaries and flag-flowers to twine, 
With liHes woven and with wet woodbine; 

Till once they sought the bright iEtnean flowers, 

And their bright mistress fled from summer hours 
With Hades, down the irremeable decHne. 

And they have sought her all the wide world through 
Till many years, and wisdom and much wrong 

Have filled and changed their song, and o'er the blue 
Rings deadly sweet the magic of the song. 
And whoso hears must listen till he die 
Far on the flowery shores of Sicily. 

So is it with this singing art of ours. 

That once with maids went maidenhke, and played 
With woven dances in the poplar-shade. 

And all her song was but of lady's bowers 

And the returning swallows, and spring-flowers. 
Till forth to seek a shadowy queen she strayed, 
A shadowy land; and now hath overweighed 

Her singing chaplet with the snow and showers. 

Yea, fair well-water for the bitter brine 
She left, and by the margin of hfe's sea 

Sings, and her song is full of the sea's moan, 

And wild with dread, and love of Proserpine; 
And whoso once has listened to her, he 
His whole life long is slave to her alone. 




Come live with me, and be my love; 
And we will all the pleasures prove 
That hills and valleys, dale and field, 
Or woods or steepy mountains yield. 

And we will sit upon the rocks, 
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks. 
By shallow rivers, to whose falls, 
Melodious birds sing madrigals. 

And I will make thee beds of roses. 
And a thousand fragrant posies; 
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle; 

A gown made of the finest wool 
Which from our pretty lambs we pull; 
Fair-Hned slippers for the cold. 
With buckles of the purest gold; 

A belt of straw and ivy-buds. 
With coral clasps and amber studs: 
An if these pleasures may thee move, 
Come live with me and be my love. 


The shepherd swains shall dance and sing 
For thy delight each May morning: 
If these delights thy mind may move, 
Then live with me and be my love. 




No tears of mine shall fall upon thy face, 
Whatever city thou hast reached at last, 
Better it is than that where thy feet passed 

So many times, such weary nights and days. 

Thy journeying feet knew all its inmost ways, 

Where shapes and shadows of dread things were cast : 
There moved thy soul profoundly dark and vast, 

There did thy voice its song of anguish raise. 

Thou would'st have left that city of great night, 
Yet travelled its dark mazes all in vain: 

But one way leads from it, which found aright. 
Who quitteth it shall not come back again. 
There didst thou grope thy way through thy long 

Hast thou outside found any world of Hght? 




It is enough to love you. Let me be 
Only an influence, as the wandering sea 

Answers the moon that yet forgoes to shine; 
Only a sacrifice, as in a shrine 
The lamp burns on where dead eyes cannot see; 
Only a hope unknown, withheld from thee, 
Yet ever like a petrel plaintively. 

Just following on to life 's far twilight line, 
It is enough. 

Go where you will, I follow. You are free. 

Alone, unloved, to all eternity 

I track that chance no virtue can divine, 
When pitiful, loving, with fond hands in mine, 

You say: "True heart, here take your will of me. 

It is enough." 

[96 ] 



When I consider how my light is spent 

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, 
And that one talent wliich is death to hide, 
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent 

To serve therewith my Maker, and present 
My true account, lest he returning chide; 
Doth God exact day labor, light deny'd, 
I fondly ask? but patience to prevent 

That murmur soon repHes, God doth not need 
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best 
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state 

Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, 
And post o'er land and ocean without rest; 
They also serve who only stand and wait. 




Oft, in the stiUy night, 

Ere Slumber's chain has bound me, 
Fond Memory brings the light 
Of other days around me; 
The smileSj the tears 
Of boyhood's years, 
The words of love then spoken; 
The eyes that shone, 
Now dimm'd and gone. 
The cheerful hearts now broken I 
Thus, in the stilly night, 

Ere Slumber's chain has bound me. 
Sad Memory brings the Hght 
Of other days around me. 

When I remember all 

The friends, so Hnk'd together, 
I Ve seen around me faU, 

Like leaves in wintry weather; 

I feel like one 

Who treads alone 
Some banquet-hall deserted, 

Whose lights are fled. 

Whose garlands dead. 
And all but he departed! 


Thus, in the stilly night, 

Ere Slumber's chain has bound me, 
Sad Memory brings the hght 

Of other days around me. 

[ 99 ] 



The red rose whispers of passion, 
And the white rose breathes of love; 

Oh, the red rose is a falcon. 
And the white rose is a dove. 

But I send you a cream-white rosebud 
With a flush on its petal tips; 

For the love that is purest and sweetest 
Has a kiss of desire on the lips. 

[ 100] 



Kiss me, sweetheart; the Spring is here, 

And Love is Lord of you and me. 

The blue-bells beckon each passing bee; 
The wild wood laughs to the flowered year: 
There is no bird in brake or brere, 

But to his httle mate sings he, 
"Kiss me, sweetheart; the Spring is here. 

And Love is Lord of you and me I" 

The blue sky laughs out sweet and clear. 
The missel-thrush upon the tree 
Pipes for sheer gladness loud and free; 

And I go singing to my dear, 

" Kiss me, sweetheart; the Spring is here, 
And Love is Lord of you and me." 

[ 101 ] 



Helen, thy beauty is to me 

Like those Nicean barks of yore, 

That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, 
The weary way-worn wanderer bore 
To his own native shore. 

On desperate seas long wont to roam, 
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face. 

Thy Naiad airs have brought me home 
To the glory that was Greece 

And the grandeur that was Rome. 

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche 
How statue-like I see thee stand, 
The agate lamp within thy hand, 

Ah! Psyche, from the regions which 
Are Holy Land! 


Thou wast that all to me, love. 
For which my soul did pine — 

A green isle in the sea, love, 
A fountain and a shrine, 


All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers, 
And all the flowers were mine. 

Ah, dream too bright to last I 

Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise 

But to be overcast 1 
A voice from out the Future cries, 

"Onl on!" but o'er the Past 

(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering Hes 

Mute, motionless, aghast. 

For, alas! alas! with me 

The Hght of Life is o'er! 
" No more — no more — no more! — " 
(Such language holds the solemn sea 

To the sands upon the shore) 
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree, 

Or the stricken eagle soar. 

And all my days are trances. 

And aU my nightly dreams 
Are where thy gray eye glances. 

And where thy footstep gleams — 
In what ethereal dances. 

By what eternal streams. 




I AM not good, nor wise, nor just, 

Nor can I sing; 
But up from grim surrounding dust 

My soul I fling. 

Thou knowest all my utmost heart 

ThriUs to thy call: 
Accept thy due — hold it apart — 

It is my all. 




A LITTLE gray hill-glade, close-turfed, withdrawn 

Beyond resort or heed of trafficking feet. 

Ringed round with slim trunks of the mountain ash. 

Through the slim trunks and scarlet bunches flash — 

Beneath the clear chill gUtterings of the dawn — 

Far off, the crests, where down the rosy shore 

The Pontic surges beat. 

The plains He dim below. The thin airs wash 

The circuit of the autumn-colored liills, 

And this high glade, whereon 

The satyr pipes, who soon shall pipe no more. 

He sits against the beech-tree's mighty bole, — 

He leans, and with persuasive breathing fills 

The happy shadows of the slant-set lawn. 

The goat-feet fold beneath a gnarled root; 

And sweet, and sweet the note that steals and thrills 

From slender stops of that shy flute. 

Then to the goat-feet comes the wide-eyed fawn 

Hearkening; the rabbits fringe the glade, and lay 

Their long ears to the sound; 

In the pale boughs the partridge gather round. 

And quaint hern from the sea-green river reeds; 

The wild ram halts upon a rocky horn 

From " Poems by Charles G. D. Roberts,''^ copyright 1901, by Silver^ Burdett tf 
Co., by permission of L. C. Page Co., publishers. 

[ 105] 

Overhanging; and, unmindful of his prey, 

The leopard steals with narrowed Hds to lay 

His spotted length along the ground. 

The thin airs wash, the thin clouds wander by, 

And those hushed Hsteners move not. All the morn 

He pipes, soft-swaying, and with half -shut eye, 

In rapt content of utterance, — nor heeds 

The young God standing in his branchy place, 

The languor on his lips, and in his face. 

Divinely inaccessible, the scorn. 




Remember me when I am gone away, 
Gone far away into the silent land; 
When you can no more hold me by the hand, 

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. 

Remember me when no more day by day 
You tell me of our future that you planned; 
Only remember me; you understand 

It will be late to counsel then or pray. 

Yet if you should forget me for a while 
And afterwards remember, do not grieve : 
For if the darkness and corruption leave 
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, 

Better by far you should forget and smile 
Than that you should remember and be sad. 

By jjermission of the Macmillan Co. 

[ 107] 



The blessed damozel leaned out 
From the gold bar of Heaven; 

Her eyes were deeper than the depth 
Of waters stilled at even; 

She had three HHes in her hand, 

And the stars in her hair were seven. 

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, 
No wrought flowers did adorn, 

But a white rose of Mary's gift. 
For service meetly worn; 

Her hair that lay along her back 
Was yellow like ripe corn. 

Herseemed she scarce had been a day 

One of God's choristers; 
The wonder was not yet quite gone 

From that still look of hers; 
Albeit, to them she left, her day 

Had counted as ten years. 

(To one, it is ten years of years. 

. . . Yet now, and in this place, 
Surely she leaned o'er me — her hair 

Fell all about my face ... 

[ 108] 

Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves. 
The whole year sets apace.) 

It was the rampart of God's house 
That she was standing on; 

By God built over the sheer depth 
The which is Space begun; 

So high, that looking downward thence 
She scarce could see the sun. 

It lies in Heaven, across the flood 

Of ether, as a bridge. 
Beneath, the tides of day and night 

With flame and darkness ridge 
The void, as low as where this earth 

Spins like a fretful midge. 

Around her, lovers, newly met 

'Mid deatliless love's acclaims. 

Spoke evermore among themselves 
Their heart-remembered names; 

And the souls mounting up to God 
Went by her like thin flames. 

And still she bowed herself and stooped 
Out of the circling charm; 

Until her bosom must have made 
The bar she leaned on warm, 

And the liHes lay as if asleep 
Along her bended arm. 

[ 109 ] 

From the fixed place of Heaven she saw 
Time like a pulse shake fierce 

Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove 
Within the gulf to pierce 

Its path; and now she spoke as when 
The stars sang in their spheres. 

The sun was gone now; the curled moon 

Was like a little feather 
Fluttering far down the gulf; and now 

She spoke through the still weather. 
Her voice was like the voice the stars 

Had when they sang together. 

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song, 

Strove not her accents there, 
Fain to be hearkened? When those bells 

Possessed the mid-day air, 
Strove not her steps to reach my side 

Down all the echoing stair?) 

" I wish that he were come to me, 

For he will come,'' she said. 
'' Have I not prayed in Heaven? — on earth, 

Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd? 
Are not two prayers a perfect strength? 

And shall I feel afraid? 

"When round his head the aureole clings, 
And he is clothed in white, 

[ 110 ] 

I '11 take his hand and go with him 
To the deep wells of light; 

As unto a stream we wiU step down, 
And bathe there in God's sight. 

" We two will stand beside that shrine, 

Occult, withheld, untrod, 
Whose lamps are stirred continually 

With prayer sent up to God; 
And see our old prayers, granted, melt 

Each like a little cloud. 

" We two will He i' the shadow of 

That Hving mystic tree 
Witliin whose secret growth the Dove 

Is sometimes felt to be, 
While every leaf that His plumes touch 

Saith His Name audibly. 

" And I myself will teach to him, 

I myself, lying so. 
The songs I sing here; which his voice 

Shall pause in, hushed and slow, 
And find some knowledge at each pause. 

Or some new thing to know." 

(Alas! we two, we two, thou say'st! 

Yea, one wast thou with me 
That once of old. But shall God lift 

To endless unity 

[ 111 ] 

The soul whose likeness with thy soul 
Was but its love for thee? ) 

"We two," she said, "will seek the groves 

Where the lady Mary is, 
With her five handmaidens, whose names 

Are five sweet symphonies, 
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen, 

Margaret and Rosalys. 

" Circle wise sit they, with bound locks 

And foreheads garlanded; 
Into the fine cloth white Hke flame 

Weaving the golden thread. 
To fashion the birth-robes for them 

Who are just born, being dead. 

"He shall fear, haply, and be dumb: 

Then will I lay my cheek 
To his, and tell about our love, 

Not once abashed or weak: 
And the dear Mother will approve 

My pride, and let me speak. 

" Herself shall bring us, hand in hand. 
To Him round whom all souls 

Kneel, the clear-ranged unniunbered heads 
Bowed with their aureoles: 

And angels meeting us shall sing 
To their citherns and citoles. 


"There will I ask of Christ the Lord 
Thus much for him and me : — 

Only to live as once on earth 
With Love, — only to be, 

As then awhile, for ever now 
Together, I and he.'' 

She gazed and Hstened and then said. 
Less sad of speech than mild, — 

"All this is when he comes." She ceased. 
The hght thrilled towards her, filFd 

With angels in strong level flight. 
Her eyes prayed, and she smiPd. 

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path 
Was vague in distant spheres : 

And then she cast her arms along 
The golden barriers, 

And laid her face between her hands. 
And wept. (I heard her tears.) 


Weary already, weary miles to-night 

I walked for bed: and so, to get some ease, 

I dogged the flying moon with similes. 

And like a wisp she doubled on my sight 

In ponds; and caught in tree-tops like a kite; 

And in a globe of film all liquorish 

Swam full-faced like a silly silver fish; — 


Last like a bubble shot the welkin's height 

Where my road turned, and got behind me, and sent 

My wizened shadow craning round at me, 

And jeered, "So, step the measure, — one two three! "- 

And if I faced on her looked innocent. 

But just at parting, halfway down a dell, 

She kissed me for good-night. So you '11 not tell. 


Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told 

(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,) 

That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive. 

And her enchanted hair was the first gold. 

And still she sits, young while the earth is old, 

And, subtly of herself contemplative. 

Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave 

Till heart and body and life are in its hold. 

The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where 

Is he not found, O LiUth, whom shed scent 

And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare? 

Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went 

Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent, 

And round his heart one strangHng golden hair. 


The mother will not turn, who thinks she hears 
Her nursling's speech first grow articulate; 

[ 114 ] 

But breathless with averted eyes elate 

She sits, with open Hps and open ears, 

That it may call her twice. 'Mid doubts and fears 

Thus oft my soul has hearkened; till the song, 

A central moan for days, at length found tongue, 

And the sweet music welled and the sweet tears. 

But now, whatever while the soul is fain 

To hst that wonted murmur, as it were 

The speech-bound sea-shell's low, importunate strain, - 

No breath of song, thy voice alone is there, 

O bitterly beloved! and all her gain 

Is but the pang of unpermitted prayer. 


There came an image in life's retinue 

That had Love's wings and bore his gonfalon: 
Fair was the web, and nobly wrought thereon, 

soul-sequestered face, thy form and huel 
Bewildering sounds, such as Spring wakens to. 

Shook in its folds; and through my heart its power 
Sped trackless as the immemorable hour 
When birth's dark portal groaned and all was new. 

But a veiled woman followed, and she caught 

The banner round its staff, to furl and cling, — 
Then plucked a feather from the bearer's wing 
And held it to his Hps that stirred it not. 
And said to me, "Behold, there is no breath: 

1 and this Love are one, and I am Death." 



Sometimes she is a child within mine arms, 

Cowering beneath dark wings that love must chase, 
With still tears showering and averted face, 

InexpHcably filled with faint alarms : 

And oft from mine own spirit's hurtling harms 
I crave the refuge of her deep embrace, — 
Against all ills the fortified strong place 

And sweet reserve of sovereign counter-charms. 

And Love, our light at night and shade at noon, 
Lulls us to rest with songs, and turns away- 
All shafts of shelterless tumultuous day. 

Like the moon's growth, his face gleams through his tune; 

And as soft waters warble to the moon. 

Our answering spirits chime one roundelay. 


As two whose love, first foohsh, widening scope. 
Knows suddenly, to music high and soft, 
The Holy of HoHes; who because they scoff 'd 
Are now amazed with shame, nor dare to cope 
With the whole truth aloud, lest heaven should ope; 
Yet, at their meetings, laugh not as they laugh'd 
In speech; nor speak, at length; but sitting oft 
Together, within hopeless sight of hope 
For hours are silent; — So it happeneth 

[ 116] 

When Work and Will awake too late, to gaze 
After their life sailed by, and hold their breath. 

Ah! who shall dare to search through what sad maze 
Thenceforth their incommunicable ways 
Follow the desultory feet of Death? 


Not that the earth is changing, O my God! 

Nor that the seasons totter in their walk, — 

Not that the virulent iU of act and talk 

Seethes ever as a winepress ever trod, — 

Not therefore are we certain that the rod 

Weighs in tliine hand to smite thy world; though now 

Beneath tliine hand so many nations bow, 

So many kings: — not therefore, O my God! — 

But because Man is parcelled out in men 

To-day; because for any wrongful blow 

No man not stricken asks, ''I would be told 

Why thou dost thus;'' bat his heart whispers then, 

"He is he, I am I." By this we know 

That our earth falls asunder, being old. 


Sweet twining hedgeflowers wind-stirred in no wise 
On this June day; and hand that clings in hand: — 
Still glades; and meeting faces scarcely fann'd: — 
An osier-odoured stream that draws the skies 

[ 117 ] 

Deep to its heart; and mirrored eyes in eyes: — 
Fresh hourly wonder o'er the Summer land 
Of hght and cloud; and two souls softly spanned 
With one overarching heaven of smiles and sighs: — 
Even such their path, whose bodies lean unto 
Each other's visible sweetness amorously, — 
Whose passionate hearts lean by Love's high decree 
Together on his heart forever true, 
As the cloud-foaming firmamental blue 
Rests on the blue line of a foamless sea. 


I SAT with Love upon a woodside well. 

Leaning across the water, I and he; 

Nor ever did he speak nor looked at me, 
But touched his lute wherein was audible 
The certain secret thing he had to tell: 

Only our mirrored eyes met silently 

In the low wave ; and that sound came to be 
The passionate voice I knew; and my tears fell. 

And at their fall, his eyes beneath grew hers; 
And with his foot and with his wing-feathers 

He swept the spring that watered my heart's drouth. 
Then the dark ripples spread to waving hair, 
And as I stooped, her own lips rising there 

Bubbled with brimming kisses at my mouth. 


And now Love sang: but his was such a song 

So meshed with half -remembrance hard to free, 

As souls disused in death's sterihty 
May sing when the new birthday tarries long. 
And I was made aware of a dumb throng 

That stood aloof, one form by every tree, 

All mournful forms, for each was I or she, 
The shades of those our days that had no tongue. 

They looked on us, and knew us and were knoTv^i; 
While fast together, alive from the abyss. 
Clung the soul-wrung implacable close Idss; 
And pity of self through all made broken moan 
Which said, ''For once, for once, for once alone!" 

And still Love sang, and what he sang was this: — 

''O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood, 

That walk with hollow faces burning white; 
What fathom-depth of soul-struck widowhood, 

What long, what longer hours, one lifelong night, 
Ere ye again, who so in vain have wooed 

Your last hope lost, who so in vain invite 
Your Hps to that their unforgotten food. 

Ere ye, ere ye again shall see the Hght! 

" Alas! the bitter banks in Willowwood, 

With tear-spurge wan, with blood- wort burning red: 
Alas! if ever such a pillow could 

Steep deep the soul in sleep till she were dead, — 


Better all life forget her than this thing, 

That Willowwood should hold her wandering I" 


So sang he : and as meeting rose and rose 

Together cling through the wind's wellaway 
Nor change at once, yet near the end of day 

The leaves drop loosened where the heart-stain glows, - 

So when the song died did the kiss unclose; 

And her face fell back drowned, and was as grey 
As its grey eyes; and if it ever may 

Meet mine again I know not if Love knows. 

Only I know that I leaned low and drank 

A long draught from the water where she sank, 

Her breath and all her tears and all her soul : 
And as I leaned, I know I felt Love's face 
Pressed on my neck with moan of pity and grace. 

Till both our heads were in his aureole. 


"I LOVE you, sweet: how can you ever learn 

How much I love you?" "You I love even so, 
And so I learn it." " Sweet, you cannot know 
How fair you are." " If fair enough to earn 
Your love, so much is all my love's concern." 

"My love grows hourly, sweet." " Mine too doth 


Yet love seemed full so many hours ago!" 
Thus lovers speak, till kisses claim their turn. 

Ah! happy they to whom such words as these 

In youth have served for speech the whole day long, 
Hour after hour, remote from the world's throng, 
Work, contest, fame, all life's confederate pleas, — 
What while Love breathed in sighs and silences 

Through two blent souls one rapturous undersong. 

[121 ] 



Silver key of the fountain of tears, 

Where the spirit drinks till the brain is wild; 

Softest grave of a thousand fears, 
Where their mother. Care, like a drowsy child, 
Is laid asleep in flowers. 


The fountains mingle with the river. 

And the rivers with the ocean; 
The winds of heaven mix forever, 

With a sweet emotion; 
Nothing in the world is single; 

All tilings by a law divine 
In one another's being mingle : — 

Why not I with thine? 

See! the mountains kiss high heaven. 

And the waves clasp one another; 
No sister flower would be forgiven 

If it disdained its brother; 
And the sunlight clasps the earth, 

And the moonbeams kiss the sea: — 
What are all these kissings worth. 

If thou kiss not me? 



I MET a traveller from an antique land 
Who said; Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled Hp and sneer of cold command 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, 
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 


I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, 

From the seas and the streams; 
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid 

In their noonday dreams. 
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken 

The sweet birds every one. 
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, 

As she dances about the sun. 
I wield the flail of the lashing hail. 

And whiten the green plains under; 


And then again I dissolve it in rain, 
And laugh as I pass in thunder. 

I sift the snow on the moimtains below, 

And their great pines groan aghast; 
And all the night 't is my pillow white, 

While I sleep in the arms of the blast. 
SubHme on the towers of my skyey bowers, 

Lightning, my pilot, sits; 
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder; 

It struggles and howls at fits. 
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion, 

This pilot is guiding me, 
Lured by the love of the genii that move 

In the depths of the purple sea; 
Over the rills and the crags and the hills, 

Over the lakes and the plains, 
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream, 

The spirit he loves remains; 
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile. 

Whilst he is dissolving in rains. 

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, 

And his burning plumes outspread, 
Leaps on the back of my saiHng rack. 

When the morning star shines dead. 
As, on the jag of a mountain crag 

Which an earthquake rocks and swings. 
An eagle, alit, one moment may sit 

In the light of its golden wings; 
And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, 

[ 124 ] 

Its ardors of rest and love, 
And the crimson pall of eve may fall 

From the depth of heaven above, 
With wings folded I rest on my airy nest, 

As still as a brooding dove. 

That orbed maiden with white fire laden 

Whom mortals call the moon, 
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-hke floor. 

By the midnight breezes strewn; 
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet, 

Which only the angels hear, 
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof. 

The stars peep behind her and peer; 
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee, 

Like a swarm of golden bees. 
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent, 

Till the calm river, lakes, and seas. 
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high. 

Are each paved with the moon and these. 

I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone. 

And the moon's with a girdle of pearl; 
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim. 

When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. 
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape. 

Over a torrent sea. 
Sunbeam proof, I hang like a roof. 

The mountains its columns be. 
The triumphal arch, through which I march 

With hurricane, fire and snow. 


When the powers of the air are chained to my chair, 

Is the million-colored bow; 
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove, 

While the moist earth was laughing below. 

I am the daughter of the earth and water, 

And the nursling of the sky; 
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; 

I change, but I cannot die. 
For after the rain, when, with never a stain. 

The pavilion of heaven is bare, 
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex 

Build up the blue dome of air, 
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph. 

And out of the caverns of rain. 
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the 

I rise and upbuild it again. 


When the lamp is shattered. 

The Hght in the dust Hes dead; 
When the cloud is scattered. 

The rainbow's glory is shed. 
When the lute is broken, 

Sweet tones are remembered not; 
When the lips have spoken, 

Loved accents are soon forgot. 

[ 126 ] 

As music and splendor 

Survive not the lamp and the lute, 
The heart's echoes render 

No song when the spirit is mute, — 
No song but sad dirges, 

Like the wind through a ruined cell, 
Or the mournful surges 

That ring the dead seaman's knell. 


Hail to thee, bUthe spirit I 

Bird thou never wert. 
That from heaven, or near it, 

Pourest thy full heart 
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. 

Higher still and higher 

From the earth thou springest, ■ 

Like a cloud of fire; 

The blue deep thou wingest, 
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest. 

In the golden Hghtning 

Of the setting sun, 
O'er which clouds are brightening, 
Thou dost float and run; 
Like an embodied joy whose race is just begun. 

The pale purple even ^ 

Melts aroimd thy flight; 

I 127 ] 

liike a star of heaven 
In the broad day-Hght 
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight. 

Keen as are the arrows 
Of that silver sphere, 
Whose intense lamp narrows 
In the white dawn clear, 
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there. 

All the earth and air 

With thy voice is loud, 
As, when night is bare. 

From one lonely cloud 
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed. 

What thou art we know not; 

What is most like thee? 
From rainbow clouds there flow not 

Drops so bright to see, 
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody. 

Like a poet hidden, 

In the Hght of thought. 
Singing hymns unbidden. 

Till the world is wrought 
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not; 

Like a high-born maiden 

In a palace tower, 
Soothing her love-laden 

I 128 1 

Soul in secret hour 
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower; 

Like a glow-worm golden 

In a dell of dew, 
Scattering unbeholden 
Its aerial hue 
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the 

Like a rose embowered 

In its own green leaves, 
By warm winds deflowered, 
Till the scent it gives 
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged 

Sound of vernal showers 

On the twinkling grass. 
Rain-awakened flowers, 

All that ever was 
Joyous, and fresh, and clear, thy music doth surpass. 

Teach us, sprite or bird, 

What sweet thoughts are thine; 
I have never heard 

Praise of love or wine 
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine. 

Chorus hymeneal, 
Or triumphant chant. 


Matched with thine would be all 
But an empty vaunt, — 
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want. 

What objects are the fountains 

Of thy happy strain? 
What fields, or waves, or mountains? 
What shapes of sky or plain? 
What love of thine own kind? What ignorance of 

With thy clear, keen joyance 

Languor cannot be; 
Shadow of annoyance 
Never came near thee; 
Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety. 

Waking, or asleep, 

Thou of death must deem 
Things more true and deep 

Than we mortals dream, 
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream? 

We look before and after, 

And pine for what is not; 
Our sincerest laughter 

With some pain is fraught; 
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. 

Yet if we could scorn 

Hate, and pride, and fear; 

[ 130 ] 

If we were things born 
Not to shed a tear, 
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near. 

Better than all measures 

Of delightful sound, 
Better than all treasures 

That in books are found, 
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground! 

Teach me half the gladness 

That thy brain must know, 
Such harmonious madness 

From my lips would flow, 
The world should Hsten then, as I am listening now. 


Swiftly wallc over the western wave, 

Spirit of Night! 
Out of the misty eastern cave, 
Where all the long and lone daylight 
Thou wo vest dreams of joy and fear 
Which make thee terrible and dear, — 

Swift be thy flight! 

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray, 

Star-inwrought ; 
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day, 
Kiss her until she be wearied out; 


Then wander o'er city and sea and land 
Touching all with thine opiate wand — 
Come, long-sought I 

When I arose and saw the dawn, 

I sighed for thee; 
When Kght rode high, and the dew was gone. 
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree, 
And the weary Day turned to her rest 
Lingering like an unloved guest, 

I sighed for theel 

Thy brother Death came, and cried, 

Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed, 
Murmur'd like a noon-tide bee 
"Shall I nestle near thy side? 
Wouldst thou me?" — And I replied 

"No, not thee!" 

Death will come when thou art dead. 

Soon, too soon — 
Sleep will come when thou art fled; 
Of neither would I ask the boon 
I ask of thee, beloved Night — 
Swift be thine approaching flight, 

Come soon, soon! 




All the skies had gloomed in gray 
Many a week, day after day: 
Nothing came the blank to fill, 
Nothing stirred the stagnant will. 
Winds were raw; buds would not swell: 
Some mahgn and sudden spell 
Soured the currents of the year 
And filled the heart with lurking fear. 

In his room he moped and glowered, 
Where the leaden dayHght lowered; 
Drummed the casement, turned his book. 
Hating nature's hostile look. 

Suddenly there came a day 
When he flung his gloom away. 
Something hinted help was near; 
Winds were fresh and sky was clear; 
Light he stepped, and firmly planned, — 
Some good news was close at hand 

Truly: for when day was done. 
He was lying all alone. 
Fretted pulse had ceased to beat. 
Very still were hands and feet, 


And the robins througli the long 
Twilight sang his slumber song. 


I NEVER know why 't is I love thee so : 
I do not think 't is that thine eyes for me 
Grow Kght as sudden sunshine on the sea; 
Nor for thy rose-leaf lips, or breast of snow, 
Or voice Hke quiet waters where they flow. 

So why I love thee well I cannot tell: 
Only it is that when thou speak'st to me 
'Tis thy voice speaks, and when thy face I see 
It is thy face I see; and it befell 
Thou wert, and I was, and I love thee welJ. 




My bed is like a little boat; 

Nurse helps me in when I embark; 
She girds me in my sailor's coat 

And starts me in the dark. 

At night I go on board and say 

Good-night to all my friends on shore; 

I shut my eyes and sail away 
And see and hear no more. 

And sometimes things to bed I take, 

As prudent sailors have to do; 
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake, 

Perhaps a toy or two. 

All night across the dark we steer; 

But when the day returns at last, 
Safe in my room, beside the pier, 

I find my vessel fast. 

From " Poems if Ballads,'' copyright 1895, 1896, by Charles Scrihner^s Sons. 




I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me, 
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. 
He is very, very Hke me from the heels up to the head; 
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my 

The funniest thing about him is the way he Hkes to 

grow — 
Not at all hke proper children, which is always very 

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber 

And he sometimes gets so little that there 's none of him 

at all. 

He has n't got a notion of how children ought to play, 
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way. 
He stays so close beside me, he 's a coward you can 

I 'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks 

to me! 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up, 
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; 
But my lazy little shadow, Hke an arrant sleepy-head. 
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in 

From *^.Poems and Ballads,'' copyright 1895, 1896, by Charles Scribner's Sons. 

[ 136] 


Under the wide and starry sky, 
Dig the grave and let me He. 
Glad did I live and gladly die, 
And I laid me down with a will. 
This be the verse you grave for me: 
"Here he lies where he longed to he; 
Home is the sailor, home from the sea, 
And the hunter home from the hill." 

Fi'om *' Poems and Ballads" copyright 1895, 1896, 
by CJiarles Scribner^s Sons. 

I 137] 



In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland, 
At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee, 
Walled round with rocks as an inland island, 

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea. 
A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses 

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed 
Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its 

Now lie dead. 

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken, 
To the low last edge of the long lone land. 

If a step should sound or a word be spoken, 

Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand? 

So long have the gray bare walks lain guestless. 
Through branches and briers if a man make way, 

He shall find no Hfe but the sea- wind's, restless 
Night and day. 

The dense hard passage is bhnd and stifled 
That crawls by a track none turn to cHmb 

To the strait waste place that the years have rifled 
Of all but the thorns that are touched not of time. 

I 138 ] 

The thorns he spares when the rose is taken; 

The rocks are left when he wastes the plain; 
The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken, 
These remain. 

Not a flower to be prest of the foot that falls not; 

As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry; 
From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale calls 
Could she call, there were never a rose to reply. 
Over the meadows that blossom and wither. 

Rings but the note of a sea-bird^s song. 
Only the sun and the rain come hither 
All year long. 

The sun burns sear, and the rain dishevels 
One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath. 

Only the wind here hovers and revels 

In a round where life seems barren as death. 

Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping. 
Haply, of lovers none ever will know. 

Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping 
Years ago. 

Heart handfast in heart as they stood, *' Look thither," 
Did he whisper? " Look forth from the flowers to the sea; 

For the foam-flowers endure when the rose-blossoms 
And men that love Hghtly may die — But we?" 

And the same wind sang, and the same waves whitened 
And or ever the garden's last petals were shed, 

[ 139 ] 

In the lips that had whispered, the eyes that had light- 

Love was dead. 

Or fchey loved their life through, and then went whither? 

And were one to the end — but what end who knows? 
Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither. 

As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose. 
Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love them? 

What love was ever as deep as a grave? 
They are loveless now as the grass above them 
Or the wave. 

All are at one now, roses and lovers, 

Not known of the cliffs and the fields and the sea. 
Not a breath of the time that has been hovers 

In the air now soft with a summer to be. 
Not a breath shall there sweeten the seasons hereafter 

Of the flowers or the lovers that laugh now or weep, 
When as they that are free now of weeping and laughter 
We shall sleep. 

Here death may deal not again forever; 

Here change may come not till all change end. 
From the graves they have made they shall rise up 
Who have left naught living to ravage and rend. 
Earth, stones, and thorns of the wild ground growing, 

While the sun and the rain live, these shall be; 
Till a last wind^s breath, upon all these blowing. 
Roll the sea. 


Till the slow sea rise, and the sheer cliff crumble, 
Till terrace and meadow the deep gulfs drink, 

Till the strength of the waves of the high tides humble 
The fields that lessen, the rocks that shrink, 

Here now in his triumph where all things falter. 

Stretched out on the spoils that his own hand spread, 

As a god self-slain on his own strange altar, 
Death lies dead. 


When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces, 
The mother of months in meadow or plain 

Fills the shadows and windy places 
With Hsp of leaves and ripple of rain; 

And the brown bright nightingale amorous 

Is half assuaged for Itylus, 

For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces, 
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain. 

Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers. 

Maiden most perfect, lady of Hght, 
With a noise of winds and many rivers, 

With a clamor of waters, and with might; 
Bind on thy sandals, O thou most fleet, 
Over the splendor and speed of thy feet; 
For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers. 

Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night. 

t 141] 

Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her, 
Fold our hands round her knees, and cling? 

O that man's heart were as fire and could spring to her. 
Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring! 

For the stars and the winds are unto her 

As raiment, as songs of the harp-player; 

For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her, 
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind sing. 

For winter's rains and ruins are over. 

And all the season of snows and sins; 
The days dividing lover and lover. 

The Hght that loses, the night that wins; 
And time remembered is grief forgotten. 
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten. 
And in green underwood and cover 

Blossom by blossom the spring begins. 

The full streams feed on flower of rushes, 

Ripe grasses trammel a travelling foot. 
The faint fresh flame of the young year flushes 

From leaf to flower and flower to fruit; 
And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire. 
And the oat is heard above the lyre. 
And the hoofed heel of a satyr crushes 

The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root. 

And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night, 

Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid. 
Follows with dancing and fills with delight 

The Maenad and the Bassarid; 


And soft as lips that laugh and hide 
The laughing leaves of the trees divide, 
And screen from seeing and leave in sight 
The god pursuing, the maiden hid. 

The ivy falls with the Baechanars hair 

Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes; 
The wild vine slipping down leaves bare 

Her bright breast shortening into sighs; 
The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves, 
But the berried ivy catches and cleaves 
To the Hmbs that gHtter, the feet that scare 
The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies. 


Who hath given man speech? or who hath set therein 
A thorn for peril and a snare for sin? 
For in the word his life is and his breath, 

And in the word his death, 
That madness and the infatuate heart may breed 

From the word's womb the deed 
And life bring one thing forth ere all pass by. 
Even one thing wliich is ours yet cannot die — 
Death. Hast thou seen him ever anywhere, 
Time's twin-born brother, imperishable as he 
Is perishable and plaintive, clothed with care 

And mutable as sand, 
But death is strong and full of blood and fair 
And perdurable and like a lord of land? 

[ 143 ] 

Nay, time thou seest not, death thou wilt not see 
Till life's right hand be loosened from thine hand, 

And thy life-days from thee. 
For the gods very subtly fashion 

Madness with sadness upon earth: 
Not knowing in any wise compassion, 

Nor holding pity of any worth; 
And many things they have given and taken, 

And wrought and ruined many things; 
The firm land have they loosed and shaken, 

And sealed the sea with all her springs; 
They have wearied time with heavy burdens. 

And vexed the Hps of Hfe with breath: 
Set men to labor and given them guerdons. 

Death, and great darkness after death: 
Put moans into the bridal measure 

And on the bridal wools a stain; 
And circled pain about with pleasure, 

And girdled pleasure about with pain; 
And strewed one marriage-bed with tears and fire 
For extreme loathing and supreme desire. 

What shall be done with all these tears of ours? 

Shall they make watersprings in the fair heaven 
To bathe the brows of morning? or like flowers 
Be shed and shine before the starriest hours, 

Or made the raiment of the weeping Seven? 
Or rather, O our masters, shall they be 
Food for the famine of the grievous sea, 

A great well-head of lamentation 
Satiating the sad gods? or fall and flow 

[ 144] 

Among the years and seasons to and fro, 

And wash their feet with tribulation 
And fill them full with grieving ere they go? 

Alas, our lords, and yet alas again, 
Seeing all your iron heaven is gilt as gold 

But all we smite thereat in vain; 
Smite the gates barred with groanings manifold. 

But all the floors are paven with our pain. 
Yea, and with weariness of lips and eyes. 
With breaking of the bosom, and with sighs. 

We labor, and are clad and fed with grief 
And filled with days we should not fain behold 
And nights we would not hear of; we wax old. 

All we wax old and wither like a leaf. 
We are outcast, strayed between bright sun and moon; 

Our light and darkness are as leaves of flowers, 
Black flowers and white, that perish; and the noon 

As midnight, and the night as daylight hours. 

A little fruit a little while is ours. 
And the worm finds it soon. 

But up in heaven the high gods one by one 
Lay hands upon the draught that quickeneth, 

Fulfilled with all tears shed and all things done, 
And stir with soft imperishable breath 
The bubbling bitterness of life and death, 

And hold it to our lips, and laugh; but they 

Preserve their lips from tasting night or day, 
Lest they too change and sleep, the fates that spun, 

The lips that made us and the hands that slay; 

Lest all these change, and heaven bow down to none, 

[ 145 ] 

Change and be subject to the secular sway 

And terrene revolution of the sun. 
Therefore they thrust it from them, putting time away. 

I would the wine of time, made sharp and sweet 
With multitudinous days and nights and tears 
And many mixing savors of strange years, 
Were no more trodden of them under feet, 

Cast out and spilt about their holy places: 
That life were given them as a fruit to eat 
And death to drink as water; that the hght 
Might ebb, drawn backward from their eyes, and night 

Hide for one hour the imperishable faces. 
That they might rise up sad in heaven and know 
Sorrow and sleep, one paler than young snow. 
One cold as bhght of dew and ruinous rain; 
Rise up and rest and suffer a Httle, and be 
Awhile as all things born with us and we. 

And grieve as men, and Hke slain men be slain. 

For now we know not of them; but one saith 

The gods are gracious, praising God; and one. 
When hast thou seen? or hast thou felt his breath 

Touch, nor consume thine eyelids as the sun, 
Nor fill thee to the Hps with fiery death? 

None hath beheld him, none 
Seen above other gods and shapes of things, 
Swift without feet and flying without wings. 
Intolerable, not clad with death or life, 

Insatiable, not known of night or day, 
The lord of love and loathing and of strife, 

[ 146] 

Who gives a star and takes a sun away; 
Who shapes the soul, and makes her a barren wife 

To the earthly body and grievpus growth of clay; 
Who turns the large limbs to a little flame, 

And binds the great sea with a little sand; 
Who makes desire, and slays desire with shame; 

Who shakes the heaven as ashes in his hand; 
Who, seeing the Hght and shadow for the same, 

Bids day waste night as fire devours a brand. 
Smites without sword, and scourges without rod, — 

The supreme evil, God. 

Yea, with thine hate, O God, thou hast covered us. 

One saith, and hidden our eyes away from sight. 
And made us transitory and hazardous. 

Light things and slight; 
Yet have men praised thee, saying. He hath made man 

And he doeth right. 
Thou hast kissed us, and hast smitten; thou hast laid 
Upon us with thy left hand life, and said. 
Live : and again thou hast said. Yield up your breath. 
And with thy right hand laid upon us death. 
Thou hast sent us sleep, and stricken sleep with dreams. 

Saying, Joy is not, but love of joy shall be; 
Thou hast made sweet springs for all the pleasant streams, 
Li the end thou hast made them bitter with the sea. 
Thou hast fed one rose with dust of many men; 

Thou hast marred one face with fire of many tears; 
Thou hast taken love, and given us sorrow again; 

With pain thou hast filled us full to the eyes and ears. 

[ 147] 

Therefore because thou art strong, our father, and we 

Feeble; and thou art against us, and thine hand 
Constrains us in the shallows of the sea 

And breaks us at the limits of the land; 
Because thou hast bent the Hghtnings as a bow, 

And loosed the hours Hke arrows; and let fall 
Sins and wild words and many a winged woe 

And wars among us, and one end of all; 
Because thou hast made the thunder, and thy feet 

Are as a rushing water when the skies 
Break, but thy face as an exceeding heat, 

And flames of fire the eyehds of thine eyes; 
Because thou art over all who are over us; 

Because thy name is life, and our name death; 
Because thou art cruel, and men are piteous. 

And our hands labor, and thine hand scattereth: 
Lo, with hearts rent and knees made tremulous, 

Lo, with ephemeral Hps and casual breath. 

At least we witness of thee ere we die 

That these things are not otherwise, but thus; 

That each man in his heart sigheth, and saith, 
That all men even as I, 
All we are against thee, against thee, O God most high. 

But ye, keep ye on earth 

Your Hps from over-speech. 
Loud words and longing are so little worth; 

And the end is hard to reach. 
For silence after grievous things is good. 

And reverence, and the fear that makes men whole. 
And shame, and righteous governance of blood, 

And lordship of the soul. 

[ 148 ] 

But from sharp words and wits men pluck no fruity 
And gathering thorns they shake the tree at root; 
For words divide and rend; 
But silence is most noble till the end. 


Before the beginning of years 

There came to the making of man 
Time, with a gift of tears; 

Grief, with a glass that ran; 
Pleasure, with pain for leaven; 

Summer, with flowers that fell; 
Remembrance fallen from heaven, 

And madness risen from hell; 
Strength without hands to smite; 

Love that endures for a breath; 
Night, the shadow of Hght, 

And Hfe, the shadow of death. 

And the high gods took in hand 

Fire, and the falling of tears, 
And a measure of sHding sand 

From under the feet of the years; 
And froth and drift of the sea; 

And dust of the laboring earth; 
And bodies of things to be 

In the houses of death and of birth; 
And wrought with weeping and laughter 

And fashioned with loathing and love, 

[ 149 ] 

With life before and after 

And death beneath and above, 
For a day and a night and a morrow, 

That his strength might endure for a span 
With travail and heavy sorrow, 

The holy spirit of man. 

From the winds of the north and the south 

They gathered as unto strife; 
They breathed upon his mouth, 

They filled his body with life; 
Eyesight and speech they wrought 

For the veils of the soul therein, 
A time for labor and thought, 

A time to serve and to sin; 
They gave him Hght in his ways, 

And love, and a space for delight. 
And beauty and length of days. 

And night, and sleep in the night. 
His speech is a burning fire; 

With his lips he travaileth; 
In his heart is a blind desire. 

In his eyes foreknowledge of death; 
He weaves, and is clothed with derision; 

Sows, and he shall not reap; 
His life is a watch or a vision 

Between a sleep and a sleep. 

[ 150 1 



Vieisti, Galilcee 

I HAVE lived long enough, having seen one thing, that 

love hath an end; 
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and be- 
Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the seasons 

that laugh or that weep; 
For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, 

Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the feet of the 

But a goodher gift is thine than foam of the grapes or 

Yea, is not even Apollo, with hair and harpstring of 

A bitter God to follow, a beautiful God to behold? 
I am sick of singing: the bays burn deep and chafe: I 

am fain 
To rest a Httle from praise and grievous pleastire and 

For the Gods we know not of, who give us our daily 

We know they are cruel as love or Hfe, and lovely as 

O Gods dethroned and deceased, cast forth, wiped out 

in a day! 

[ 151 ] 

From your wrath is the world released, redeemed from 

your chains, men say. 
New Gods are crowned in the city; their flowers have 

broken your rods; 
They are merciful, clothed with pity, the young com- 
passionate Gods. 
But for me their new device is barren, the days are bare; 
Things long past over suffice, and men forgotten that 

Time and the Gods are at strife; ye dwell in the midst 

Draining a little life from the barren breasts of love. 
I say to you, cease, take rest; yea, I say to you all, be 

at peace. 
Till the bitter milk of her breast and the barren bosom 

shall cease. 
Wilt thou yet take all, Galilean? but these thou shalt 

not take, 
The laurel, the palms and the paean, the breast of the 

nymphs in the brake; 
Breasts more soft than a dove's, that tremble with 

tenderer breath; 
And all the wings of the Loves, and all the joy before 

All the feet of the hours that sound as a single lyre. 
Dropped and deep in the flowers, with strings that flicker 

like fire. 
More than these wilt thou give, things fairer than all 

these things? 
Nay, for a little we live, and fife hath mutable wings. 
A little while and we die; shall life not thrive as it may? 

[ 152 ] 

For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving his day. 
And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath enough of 

his tears: 
Why should he labor, and bring fresh grief to blacken 

his years? 
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has 

grown gray from thy breath; 
We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the ful- 
ness of death. 
Laurel is green for a season, and love is sweet for a day; 
But love grows bitter with treason, and laurel outlives 

not May. 
Sleep, shall we sleep after all? for the world is not sweet 

in the end; 
For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new years ruin and 

Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a rock that 

But her ears are vexed with the roar and her face with 

the foam of the tides. 
O Hps that the Hve blood faints in, the leavings of racks 

and rods! 

ghastly glories of saints, dead limbs of gibbeted Gods! 
Though all men abase them before you in spirit, and all 

knees bend, 

1 kneel not neither adore you, but standing, look to the 

All delicate days and pleasant, all spirits and sorrows 

are cast 
Far out with the foam of the present that sweeps to the 

surf of the past : 


Where beyond the extreme sea-wall, and between the 

remote sea-gates, 
Waste water washes, and tall ships founder, and deep 

death waits : 
Where, mighty with deepening sides, clad about with 

the seas as with wings. 
And impelled of invisible tides, and fulfilled of unspeak- 
able things, 
White-eyed and poisonous-finned, shark-toothed and 

Rolls, under the whitening wind of the future, the wave 

of the world. 
The depths stand naked in sunder behind it, the storms 

flee away; 
In the hollow before it the thunder is taken and snared 

as a prey; 
In its sides is the north- wind bound; and its salt is of all 

men's tears; 
With light of ruin, and sound of changes, and pulse of 

years : 
With travail of day after day, and with trouble of hour 

upon hour; 
And bitter as blood is the spray; and the crests are as 

fangs that devour: 
And its vapor and storm of its steam as the sighing of 

spirits to be; 
And its noise as the noise in a dream ; and its depth 

as the roots of the sea: 
And the height of its heads as the height of the utter- 
most stars of the air: 


And the ends of the earth at the might thereof tremble, 

and time is made bare. 
Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye chasten the 

high sea with rods? 
Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who is older 

than all ye Gods? 
All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire shall ye pass and be 

Ye are Gods, and behold, ye shall die, and the waves be 

upon you ai last. 
In the darkness of time, in the deeps of the years, in 

the changes of things. 
Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and the world shall 

forget you for kings. 
Though the feet of thine high priests tread where thy 

lords and our forefathers trod. 
Though these that were Gods are dead, and thou being 

dead art a God, 
Though before thee the throned Cytherean be fallen, and 

hidden her head, 
Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy dead shall go 

down to thee dead. 
Of the maiden thy mother men sing as a goddess with 

grace clad around; 
Thou art throned where another was king; where another 

was queen she is crowned. 
Yea, once we had sight of another: but now she is queen, 

say these. 
Not as thine, not as thine was our mother, a blossom of 

flowering seas. 

[ 155 ] 

Clothed round with the world's desire as with raiment, 

and fair as the foam, 
And fleeter than kindled fire, and a goddess, and mt)ther 

of Rome. 
For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister to sorrow; 

but ours. 
Her deep hair heavily laden with odor and color of 

White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendor, a 

Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth grew 

sweet with her name. 
For thine came weeping, a slave among slaves, and re- 
jected; but she 
Came flushed from the full-flushed wave, and imperial, 

her foot on the sea. 
And the wonderful waters knew her, the winds and the 

viewless ways. 
And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the sea-blue stream 

of the bays. 
Ye are fallen, our lords, by what token? we wist that 

ye should not fall. 
Ye were all so fair that are broken; and one more fair 

than ye all. 
But I turn to her still, having seen she shall surely abide 

in the end; 
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and 


daughter of earth, of my mother, her crown and blos- 

som of birth, 

1 am also, I also, thy brother; I go as I came unto earth. 


In the night where thine eyes are as moons are in heaven, 

the night where thou art, 
Where the silence is more than all tunes, where sleep 

overflows from the heart, 
Where the poppies are sweet as the rose in our world, 

and the red rose is white, 
And the wind falls faint as it blows with the fume of the 

flowers of the night, 
And the murmur of spirits that sleep in the shadow of 

Gods from afar 
Grows dim in thine ears and deep as the deep dim soul 

of a star. 
In the sweet low light of thy face, under heavens untrod 

by the sun. 
Let my soul with their souls find place, and forget what 

is done and undone. 
Thou art more than the Gods who number the days of 

our temporal breath; 
For these give labor and slumber; but thou, Proserpina, 

Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a season in silence. 

I know 
I shall die as my fathers died, and sleep as they sleep; 

even so. 
For the glass of the years is brittle wherein we gaze for 

a span; 
A little soul for a Httle bears up this corpse which is man. 
So long I endure, no longer; and laugh not again, neither 

For there is no God found stronger than death; and 

death is a sleep. 




With songs and crying and sounds of acclamation 
Lo, the flame risen, the fire that falls in showers! 
Hark; for the word is out among the nations: 
Look; for the Hght is up upon the hours: 
O fears, O shames, O many tribulations, 
Yours were all yesterdays, but this day ours. 
Strong were your bonds linked fast with lamentations. 
With groans and tears built into walls and towers; 
Strong were your works and wonders of high stations. 
Your forts blood-based and rampires of your powers: 
Lol now the last of divers desolations, 
The hand of time, that gathers hosts like flowers: 
Time that fills up and pours out generations. 
Time, at whose breath confounded empire cowers. 


Not of thy sons, O mother many wounded. 
Not of thy sons are slaves ingraffed and grown. 
Was it not thine, the fire whence light rebounded 
From Kingdom on rekindling Ejngdom thrown, 
From hearts confirmed on tyrannies confounded, 
From earth on heaven, fire mightier than his own? 
Not thine the breath wherewith time's clarion sounded 
And all the terror of the trumpet blown? 
The voice whereat the thunder stood astounded 

[ 158 ] 

As at a new sound of a God unknown? 
And all the seas and shores within them bounded 
Shook at the strange speech of thy Hps alone, 
And all the hills of heaven, the storm-surrounded, 
Trembled, and alj the night sent forth a groan. 




I WILL go my ways from the city, and then, maybe, 

My heart shall forget one woman's voice, and her lips; 

I will arise, and set my face to the sea, 

Among stranger-folk and in the wandering ships. 

The world is great, and the bounds of it who shall 

It may be I shall find, somewhere in the world I shall 

A land that my feet may abide in; then I shall forget 
The woman I loved, and the years that are left be- 
But, if the ends of the world are not wide enough 
To out-weary my heart, and to find for my heart some 

I will go back to the city, and her I love, 
And look on her face, and remember the days of old. 


Out of the night of the sea, 
Out of the turbulent night, 
A sharp and hurrying wind 
Scourges the waters white: 
The terror by night. 

From *• The Poems of Arthur Symons" copyrighted hy John Lane Co. 


Out of the doubtful dark, 
Out of the night of the land, 
What is it breathes and broods, 
Hoveringly at hand? 
The menace of land. 

Out of the night of heaven, 
Out of the delicate sky. 
Pale and serene the stars 
In their silence reply: 
The peace of the sky. 



The sea lies quieted beneath 

The after-sunset flush 

That leaves upon the heaped grey clouds 

The grape's faint purple blush. 

Pale, from a little space in heaven 
Of dehcate ivory, 
The sickle-moon and one gold star 
• Look down upon the sea. 



I HEARD the sighing of the reeds 
In the grey pool in the green land, 

From '* The Poems of Arthur Symons^^ copyrighted by John Lane Co. 

[ 161 ] 

The sea-wind in the long reeds sighing 
Between the green hill and the sand. 

I heard the sighing of the reeds 
Day after day, night after night; 
I heard the whirring wild ducks fl3dng, 
I saw the sea-gulls' wheeling flight. 

I heard the sighing of the reeds 
Night after night, day after day, 
And I forgot old age, and dying, 
And youth that loves, and love's decay. 

I heard the sighing of the reeds 
At noontide and at evening. 
And some old dream I had foi^otten 
I seemed to be remembering. 

I hear the sighing of the reeds: 
Is it in vain, is it in vain 
That some old peace I had forgotten 
Is crying to come back again? 


The Hght of the world is of gold. 
But the Hght of the green earth fills 
The nestling heart of the hills; 
And the world's hours are old, 
And the world's thoughts are a dream, 

From " The Poems of Arthur Symons" copyrighted by John Lane Co. 

[ 162] 

Here, in the ancient place 

Of peace, where old sorrows seem 

As the half -forgotten face 

Of flower-bright cities of gold 

That blossom beyond the height 

Seems in the earth-green Hght 

That is old as the earth is old. 


It seems to me, dearest, if you were dead. 
And thought returned to me after the tears. 
The hopeless first oblivious tears, were shed, 
That this would be the bitterest, not that I 
Had lost for all sad hours of all my years 
The joys enjoyed and happy hours gone by; 
Ah no, but that while we had time to live 
And love before the coming of the night, 
Yet knew the hours of dayUght fugitive, 
Proud as a child who will not what he would, 
Sometimes I did not love you as I might. 
Sometimes you did not love me when you could. 


The boats go out and the boats come in 

Under the wintry sky; 
And the rain and foam are white in the wind, 

And the white gulls cry. 

From " The Poems of Arthur Symons,*^ copyrighted by John Lane Co. 


[ 163 ] 

She sees the sea when the wind is wild 

Swept by the windy rain; 
And her heart 's a- weary of sea and land 

As the long days wane. 

She sees the torn sails fly in the foam, 

Broad on the sky-line grey; 
And the boats go out and the boats come in, 

But there 's one away. 


O WATER, voice of my heart, crying in the sand. 

All night long crying with a mournful cry. 

As I lie and listen, and cannot understand 

The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea, 

O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I? 

All night long the water is crying to me. 

Unresting water, there shall never be rest 

Till the last moon droop and the last tide fail. 

And the fire of the end begin to burn in the west; 

And the heart shall be weary and wonder and cry like the 

All life long crying without avail. 
As the water all night long is crying to me. 

From " The Poems of Arthur Symom,^^ copyrighted by John Lane Co. 




Break, break, break, 

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 

The thoughts that arise in me. 

O well for the fisherman's boy, 

That he shouts with his sister at play! 

O well for the sailor lad, 

That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships go on 
To their haven under the hill; 

But O for the touch of a vanished hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still! 

Break, break, break. 

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 

Will never come back to me. 


Sunset and evening star. 
And one clear call for me! 

[ 165 ] 

And may there be no moaning of the bar, 
When I put out to sea, 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep. 

Too full for soimd and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twihght and evening bell. 

And after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell. 

When I embark; 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crossed the bar. 


The woods decay, the woods decay and faU, 

The vapors weep their burthen to the ground, 

Man comes and tills the field and Hes beneath, 

And after many a summer dies the swan. 

Me only cruel immortality 

Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms. 

Here at the quiet limit of the world, 

A white-hair'd shadow roaming Hke a dream 

The ever silent spaces of the East, 

Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn. 


Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man — 
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice, 
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seemed 
To his great heart none other than a God! 
I ask'd thee, " Give me immortahty/' 
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile, 
Like wealthy men who care not how they give. 
But thy strong Hours indignant worked their wills 
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me, 
And tho' they could not end me, left me maimed 
To dwell in presence of immortal youth, 
Immortal age beside immortal youth. 
And all I was in ashes. Can thy love. 
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now. 
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide, 
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears 
To hear me? Let me go; take back thy gift. 
Why should a man desire in any way 
To vary from the kindly race of men. 
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance 
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all? 

A soft air fans the clouds apart; there comes 
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born. 
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals 
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure, 
And bosom beating with a heart renewed. 
Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom, 
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine. 
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team 
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise. 

[ 167 ] 

And shake the darkness from their loosened manes 
And beat the twiHght into flakes of fire. 

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful 
In silence, then before thine answer given 
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek. 

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears, 
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt. 
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true? 
** The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts." 

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart 
In days far-off, and with what other e^es 
I used to watch — if I be he that watched — 
The lucid outhne forming round thee; saw 
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings; 
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood 
Glow with the glow that slowly crimsoned all 
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay, 
Mouth, forehead, eyeHds, growing dewy-warm 
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds 
Of April, and could hear the lips that kissed 
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet, 
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing 
While Ilion Hke a mist rose into towers. 

Yet hold me not forever in thine East; 
How can my nature longer mix with thine? 
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold 
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet 

[ 168] 

Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam 
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes 
Of happy men that have the power to die, 
And grassy barrows of the happier dead. 
Release me, and restore me to the ground. 
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave; 
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn, 
I earth in earth forget these empty courts. 
And thee returning on thy silver wheels. 

[ 169 ] 




Lo, thus, as prostrate, " In the dust I write 

My heart's deep languor and my souFs sad tears." 

Yet why evoke the spectres of black night 
To blot the sunshine of exultant years? 

Why disinter dead faith from mouldering hidden? 

Why break the seals of mute despair unbidden, 
And wail life's discords into careless ears? 

Because a cold rage seizes one at whiles 
To show the bitter old and wrinkled truth 

Stripped naked of all vesture that beguiles, 

False dreams, false hopes, false masks and modes of 

Because it gives some sense of power and passion 

In helpless impotence to try to fashion 
Our woe in living words however uncouth. 

Surely I write not for the hopeful young, 
Or those who deem their happiness of worth, 

Or such as pasture or grow fat among 

The shows of life and feel no doubt nor dearth, 

Or pious spirits with a God above them. 

To sanctify and glorify and love them. 
Or sages who foresee a heaven on earth. 

[ 170] 

For none of these I write, and none of these 
Could read the writing if they deigned to try: 

So may they flourish, in their due degrees, 
On our sweet earth and in their unplaced sky. 

If any cares for the weak words here written. 

It must be some one desolate. Fate-smitten, 

Whose faith and hope are dead, and who would die. 

Yes, here and there some weary wanderer 
In that same city of tremendous night. 

Will understand the speech, and feel a stir 

Of fellowship in all-disastrous fight; 
" I suffer mute and lonely, yet another 

UpHfts his voice to let me know a brother 

Travels the same wild paths though out of sight." 

O sad Fraternity, do I unfold 

Your dolorous mysteries shrouded from of yore ? 
Nay, be assured ; no secret can be told 

To any who divined it not before: 
None uninitiate by many a presage 
Will comprehend the language of the message, 

Although proclaimed aloud for evermore. 


Because he seemed to walk with an intent 
I followed him; who, shadowHke and frail, 

Unswervingly though slowly onward went. 
Regardless, wrapped in thought as in a veil: 

Thus step for step with lonely sounding feet 

We travelled many a long dim silent street. 

[ 171 ] 

At length he paused: a black mass in the gloom, 
A tower that merged into the heavy sky; 

Around, the huddled stones of grave and tomb : 
Some old God's Acre now corruption's sty; 

He murmured to himseK with dull despair. 

Here Faith died, poisoned by this charnel air. 

Then turning to the right went on once more, 
And travelled weary roads without suspense; 

And reached at last a low wall's open door. 
Whose villa gleamed beyond the foUage dense: 

He gazed, and muttered with a hard despair. 

Here Love died, stabbed by its own worshipped pair. 

Then turning to the right resumed his march. 

And travelled streets and lanes with wondrous 

Until on stooping through a narrow arch 
We stood before a squalid house at length: 

He gazed, and whispered with a cold despair. 

Here Hope died, starved out in its utmost lair. 

When he had spoken thus, before he stirred, 
I spoke, perplexed by something in the signs 

Of desolation I had seen and heard 

In this drear pilgrimage to ruined shrines: 

When Faith and Love and Hope are dead indeed. 

Can Life stiU live? By what doth it proceed? 

As whom his one intense thought overpowers, 
He answered coldly, Take a watch, erase 

[ 172 ] 

The signs and figures of the circling hours, 
Detach the hands, remove the dial-face; 
The works proceed until run down; although 
Bereft of purpose, void of use, still go. 

Then turning to the right paced on again. 

And traversed squares and travelled streets whose 

Seemed more and more familiar to my ken; 
And reached that sullen temple of the tombs; 

And paused to murmur with the old despair. 

Here Faith died, poisoned by this charnel air. 

I ceased to follow, for the knot of doubt 
Was severed sharply with a cruel laiife: 

He circled thus for ever tracing out 
The series of the fraction left of Life; 

Perpetual recurrence in the scope 

Of but three terms, dead Faith, dead Love, dead Hope. 


He stood alone within the spacious square 
Declaiming from the central grassy mound, 

With head uncovered and with streaming hair. 
As if large multitudes were gathered round : 

A stalwart shape, the gestures full of might, 

The glances burning with unnatural light: — 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert: All was black. 
In heaven no single star, on earth no trpxjk; 

[ 173] 

A brooding hush without a stir or note, 

The air so thick it clotted in my throat; 

And thus for hours; then some enormous things 

Swooped past with savage cries and clanking wings: 

But I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert : Eyes of fire 
Glared at me throbbing with a starved desire; 
The hoarse and heavy and carnivorous breath 
Was hot upon me from deep jaws of death; 
Sharp claws, swift talons, fleshless fingers cold 
Plucked at me from the bushes, tried to hold: 

But I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert: Lo you, there. 
That hillock burning with a brazen glare; 
Those myriad dusky flames with points a-glow 
Which writhed and hissed and darted to and fro; 
A Sabbath of the Serpents, heaped pell-mell 
For DeviFs roll-call and some fete of Hell: 

Yet I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert: Meteors ran 
And crossed their javelins on the black sky -span; 
The zenith opened to a gulf of flame, 


The dreadful thunderbolts jarred earth's fixed frame: 
The ground all heaved in waves of fire that surged 
And weltered round me sole there unsubmerged: 

Yet I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 

As I came through the desert: Air once more, 

And I was close upon a wild sea-shore; 

Enormous cliffs arose on either hand, 

The deep tide thundered up a league-broad strand; 

White foambelts seethed there, wan spray swept and flew; 

The sky broke, moon and stars and clouds and blue: 

And I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert: On the left 
The Sim arose and crowned a broad crag-cleft; 
There stopped and burned out black, except a rim, 
A bleeding eyeless socket, red and dim; 
Whereon the moon fell suddenly south-west. 
And stood above the right-hand cliffs at rest: 

Still I strode on austere; 

No hope could have no fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was. 
As I came through the desert : From the right 
A shape came slowly with a ruddy hght; 
A woman with a red lamp in her hand, 
Bareheaded and barefooted on that strand; 


O desolation moving with such grace! 
O anguish with such beauty in thy face. 

I fell as on my bier, 

Hope travailed with such fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 
As I came through the desert: I was twain, 
Two selves distinct that cannot join again; 
One stood apart and knew but could not stir, 
And watched the other stark in swoon and her; 
And she came on, and never turned aside. 
Between such sun and moon and roaring tide : 

And as she came more near 

My soul grew mad with fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 

As I came through the desert : Hell is mild 

And piteous matched with that accursed wild; 

A large black sign was on her breast that bowed, 

A broad black band ran down her snow-white shroud; 

That lamp she held was her own burning heart. 

Whose blood-drops trickled step by step apart; 

The mystery was clear; 

Mad rage had swallowed fear. 

As I came through the desert thus it was. 
As I came through the desert: By the sea 
She knelt and bent above that senseless me; 
Those lamp-drops fell upon my white brow there. 
She tried to cleanse them with her tears and hair; 
She murmured words of pity, love, and woe, 


She heeded not the level rushing flow: 
And mad with rage and fear, 
I stood stoneboimd so near. 

As I came through the desert thus it was, 

As I came through the desert: When the tide 

Swept up to her there kneeling by my side, 

She clasped that corpse-Hke me, and they were borne 

Away, and this vile me was left forlorn; 

I know the whole sea cannot quench that heart, 

Or cleanse that brow, or wash those two apart: 

They love; their doom is drear, 

Yet tliey nor hope nor fear; 

But I, what do I here? 


Thou hast lived in pain and woe, 
Thou hast lived in grief and fear; 
Now thine heart can dread no blow, 
Now thine eyes can shed no tear: 

Storms round us shall beat and rave; 

Thou art sheltered in the grave. 

Thou for long, long years hast borne, 
Bleeding through Life's wilderness. 
Heavy loss and wounding scorn; 
Now thine heart is burdenless : 

Vainly rest for ours we crave; 

Thine is quiet in the grave. 

[ 177 1 

We must toil with pain and care, 
We must front tremendous Fate, 
We must fight with dark Despair: 
Thou dost dwell in solemn state, 

Couched triumphant, calm and brave, 

In the ever-holy grave. 




Out of the cradle endlessly rocking, 
Out of the mocking-bird's throat, the musical shuttle. 
Out of the Ninth-month midnight. 
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the 
child leaving his bed wander'd alone, bareheaded, 
Down from the showered halo. 
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting 

as if they were ahve. 
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries. 
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me. 
From your memories, sad brother, from the fitful risings 

and fallings I heard. 
From under that yellow half -moon late-risen and swollen 

as if with tears, 
From those beginning notes of yearning and love there 

in the mist. 
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease. 
From the myriad thence-aroused words. 
From the word stronger and more dehcious than any 
From such as now they start the scene revisiting. 
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing. 
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly, 
A man, yet by these tears a Httle boy again. 
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves, 

[ 179 ] 

I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter, 
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond 

A reminiscence sing. 

Once Paumanok, 

When the lilac-scent was in the air and Fifth-month grass 

was growing. 
Up this seashore in some briers, 
Two feather'd guests from Alabama, two together, 
And their nest, and four light-green eggs spotted with 

And every day the he-bird to and fro near at hand. 
And every day the she-bird crouch'd on her nest, silent, 

with bright eyes. 
And every day I, a curious boy, never too close, never 

disturbing them. 
Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating. 

Shine! shine! shine! 

Pour down your warmth^ great sun! 

While we bask^ we two together. 

Two together! 

Winds blow souths or winds blow north. 

Day come white or night come black, 

Home, or rivers and mountains from home, 

Singing all time, minding no time, 

While we two keep together. 

Till of a sudden 

May-be killed, unknown to her mate, 


One forenoon the she-bird crouched not on the nest, 
Nor returned that afternoon, nor the next 
Nor ever appeared again. 

And thenceforward all summer in the sound of the sea, 

And all night under the full of the moon in calmer weather, 

Over the hoarse surging of the sea, 

Or flitting from brier to brier by day, 

I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird, 

The soHtary guest from Alabama. 

Blow! blow! blow! 

Blow up sea-winds along Paumanoh's shore; 

I wait and I wait till you blow my mate to me. 

Yes, when the stars glistened. 

All night long on the prong of a moss-scaUop'd stake, 

Down almost amid the slapping waves, 

Sat the lone singer wonderful causing tears. 

He called on his mate, 

He pour'd forth the meanings which I of all men know. 

Yes, my brother, I know. 

The rest might not, but I have treasured every note, 

For more than once dimly down to the beach ghding. 

Silent, avoiding the moonbeams, blending myself with the 

Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds 

and sights after their sorts. 
The white arms out in the breakers tirelessly tossing, 
I, with bare feet, a child, the wind wafting my hair, 
% Listened long and long. 

[181 ] 

Soothe ! soothe ! soothe ! 

Close on its wave soothes the wave behindy 

And again another behind embracing and lapping, every one 

But my love soothes not me, not me. 

Low hangs the moon, it rose late, 

It is lagging — 01 think it is heavy with love, with love, 

madly the sea pushes upon the land. 

With love, with love, 

night ! do I not see my love fluttering out among the break- 

What is that little black thing I see there in the white? 

Loud! Loud! loud! 

Loud I call to you, my love ! 

High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves, 

Surely you must know who is here, is here, 

You must know who I am, my love. 

Low-hanging m.oon ! 

What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow ? 

is it the shape, the shape of my mate ! 

moon do not keep her from me any longer. 

Land! land! Oland! 

Whichever way I turn, 1 think you could give me my mate 

back again if you only would. 
For I am almost sure I see her dimly whichever way I look, 
rising stars ! i 

Perhaps the one I want so much will rise, will rise with some 

of you, 
throat! trembling throat ! 
Sound clearer through the atmosphere ! 

[ 182 ] 

Pierce the woods, the earth, 

Somewhere listening to catch you must he the one I want. 

Shake out carols ! 

Solitary here, the nigMs carols ! 

Carols of lonesome love I death's carols ! 

Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon I 

O under that moon where she droops almost downinto the sea ! 

reckless despairing carols. 

But soft ! sink low ! 
Soft ! let me just murmur. 

And do you wait a moment you husky noised sea, 
For somewhere I believe I heard my mate responding to me. 
So faint, I must he still, he still to listen. 
But not altogether still, for then she might not come imme- 
diately to me. 
Hither my love ! 
Here I am ! here ! 

With this just-sustain' d note I announce myself to you, 

This gentle call is for you my love, for you. 
Do not he decoy' d elsewhere. 

That is the whistle of the wind, it is not my voice, 

That is the fluttering, the fluttering of the spray, 

Those are the shadows of leaves. 

darkness I in vain ! 

I am very sick and sorrowful. 

hrown halo in the sky near the moon, drooping upon the 

troubled reflection in the sea ! 

throat ! throbbing heart I 

And I singing uselessly, uselessly all the night. 

[ 183 ] 

past ! happy life ! songs of joy! 
In the air, in the woods, over fields. 
Loved! loved! loved! loved! loved! 
But my mate no more, no more with me ! 
We two together no more. 

The aria sinking, 

All else continuing, the stars shining. 

The winds blowing, the notes of the bird continuous echo- 

With angry moans the fierce old mother incessantly 

On the sands of Paumanok's shore gray and rustling, 
The yellow half-moon enlarged, sagging down, drooping, 

the face of the sea almost touching. 
The boy ecstatic, with his bare feet the waves, with his 

hair the atmosphere dallying. 
The love in the heart long pent, now loose, now at last 

tumultuously bursting, 
The aria's meaning, the ears, the soul, swiftly deposit- 
The strange tears down the cheeks coursing. 
The colloquy there, the trio, each uttering. 
The imdertone, the savage old mother incessantly crying. 
To the boy's soul's questions sullenly timing, some 

drown'd secret hissing. 
To the outsetting bard. 

Demon or bird! (said the boy's soul,) 
Is it indeed toward your mate you sing? or is it really 
to me? 


For I, that was a child, my tongue's use sleeping, now 
have heard you. 

Now in a moment I know what I am for, I awake. 

And already a thousand singers, a thousand songs, clearer, 
louder and more sorrowful than yours, 

A thousand warbling echoes have started to life within 
me, never to die. 

O you singer soUtary, singing by yourself, projecting me, 

O soHtary me listening, never more shall I cease perpetu- 
ating you. 

Never more shall I escape, never more the reverbera- 

Never more the cries of unsatisfied love be absent from 

Never again leave me to be the peaceful child I was be- 
fore what there in the night, 

By the sea under the yellow and sagging moon, 

The messenger there arous'd, the fire, the sweet hell within, 

The unknown want, the destiny of me. 

O give me a clue! (it lurks in the night here somewhere,) 

O if I am to have so much, let me have morel 

A word then, (for I wiU conquer it,) 

The word final, superior to all. 

Subtle, sent up — what is it? — I listen; 

Are you whispering it, and have been all the time, you 

Is that it from your liquid rims and wet sands? 

Whereto answering, the sea. 

Delaying not, hurrying not. 

Whispered me through the night, and very plainly be- 
fore day-break, 

[ 185] 

Lisp'd to me the low and delicious word death, 

And again death, death, death, death. 

Hissing melodious, neither like the bird, nor like mj 

aroused child's heart. 
But edging near as privately for me rustling at my 

Creeping thence steadily up to my ears and laving me 

softly all over, 
Death, death, death, death, death. 
Which I do not forget, 

But fuse the song of my dusky demon and brother, 
That he sang to me in the moonhght on Paumanok's 

gray beach. 
With the thousand responsive songs at random, 
My own songs awaked from that hour. 
And with them the key, the word up from the waves. 
The word of the sweetest song and all songs, 
That strong and delicious word which, creeping to my 

(Or like some old crone rocking the cradle, swathed in 

sweet garments, bending aside,) 
The sea whispered me. 


Come lovely and soothing death. 

Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving. 

In the day, in the night, to all, to each. 

Sooner or later delicate death. 

[ 186] 

Praised be the fathomless universe, 

For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious, 
And for love, sweet love — but praise! praise! praise! 
For the sure-en winding arms of cool-enfolding death. 

Dark mother always gliding near with soft feet. 
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? 
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all, 
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, 
come unfalteringly. 

Approach strong deliveress. 

When it is so, when thou hast taken them I joyously sing 

the dead. 
Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee, 
Laved in the flood of thy bliss O death. 

From me to thee glad serenades. 

Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments 

and feastings for thee, 
And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread 

sky are fitting. 
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful 


The night in silence under many a star. 

The ocean shore and the husky whispering wave whose 

voice I know. 
And the soul turning to thee O vast and well-veil'd 

And the body gratefully nestling close to thee. 

[ 187 ] 

Over the tree- tops I float thee a song, 

Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields 

and the prairies wide, 
Over the dense-pack'd cities all and the teeming wharves 

and ways, 
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee death. 

[ 188] 



September 3, 1802 

Earth has not anything to show more fair: 
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty: 
This city now doth like a garment wear 
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, 
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie 
Open unto the fields and to the sky, 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. 
Never did sun more beautifully steep 
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill; 
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep I 
The river glideth at liis own sweet will. 
Dear God I the very houses seem asleep; 
And all that mighty heart is lying still 1 


I WANDERED lonely as a cloud 

That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 

When all at once I saw a crowd, — 

A host of golden daffodils 

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 


[ 189] 

Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the Milky Way, 
They stretched in never-ending line 
Along the margin of a bay: 
Ten thousand saw I, at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced, but they 

Outdid the sparkhng waves in glee; 

A poet could not but be gay 

In such a jocund company; 

I gazed — and gazed — but little thought 

What wealth the show to me Imd brought. 

For oft, when on my couch I lie, 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart wdth pleasure fills. 
And dances with the daffodils. 


The world is too much with us; late and soon, 
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers : 
Little we see in Nature that is ours; 
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! 
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon; 
The winds that will be howHng at all hours 
Are all up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; 


For this, for everything, we are out of tune; 
It moves us not. Great God! I 'd rather be 
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, 
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn, 
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea, 
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. 

[191 ] 



All things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and 
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a 
lumbering cart. 
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry 
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the 
deeps of my heart. 

The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be 
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll 
With the earth and the sky and the water, remade, like 
a casket of gold 
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in 
the deeps of my heart. 


O CLOUD-PALE eyelids, dream-dimmed eyes 
The poets laboring all their days 
To build a perfect beauty in rhyme 
Are overthrown by a woman's gaze 

[ 192 ] 

And by the unlaboring brood of the skies: 
And therefore my heart will bow, when dew 
Is dropping sleep, until God burn time. 
Before the unlaboring stars and you. 


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, 
Enwrought with golden and silver light, 
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths 
Of night and light and the half-light, 
I would spread the cloths under your feet : 
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; 
I have spread my dreams under your feet; 
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 


Were you but lying cold and dead. 
And lights were paling out of the West, 
You would come hither, and bend your head, 
And I would lay my head on your breast; 
And you would murmur tender words, 
Forgiving me, because you were dead: 
Nor would you rise and hasten away. 
Though you have the will of the wild birds. 
But know your hair was bound and wound 
About the stars and moon and sun: 
O would beloved that you lay 

[ 193 ] 

Under the dock-leaves in the ground, 
While lights were paling one by one. 


Pale brows, still hands and dim hair, 
I had a beautiful friend 
And dreamed that the old despair 
Would end in love in the end: 
She looked in my heart one day 
And saw your image was there; 
She has gone weeping away. 


The wind blows out of the gates of the day. 

The wind blows over the lonely of heart. 

And the lonely of heart is withered away 

While the faeries dance in a place apart. 

Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring, 

Tossing their milk-white arms in the air. 

For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing 

Of a land where even the old are fair 

And even the wise are merry of tongue; 

But I heard a reed of Coolaney say, 

"When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung 

The lonely of heart must wither away." 



O WHAT to me the little room 

That was brimmed up with prayer and rest; 

He bade me out into the gloom, 

And my breast lies upon his breast. 

O what to me my mo therms care, 
The house where I was safe and warm; 
The shadowy blossom of my hair 
Will hide us from the bitter storm. 

hiding hair and dewy eyes, 

1 am no more with life and death, 
My heart upon liis warm heart hes, 
My breath is mixed into liis breath. 




Enamored Architect op Airy Rhyme 1 


Dover Beach 2 

Philomela 3 


A Wind-Swept Sky 5 


The Pool of Sleep 6 


The Tiger 7 

The Night has a Thousand Eyes 9 

Sonnets from the Portuguese 

When our Two Souls 10 

How do I love thee? 10 


Apparitions 12 

".Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came" .... 12 

Dawn 21 

Epilogue to Asolando 21 

Love among the Ruins 22 

Prospice 25 

Time's Revenges 26 


Thanatopsis 29 


When we are all asleep 32 


To Homer 33 



O MY LuvE 's LIKE A Red, Red Rose 34 

To A Mouse 35 


Sonnet on Chillon 37 


The Sleepers 38 

The Mote 39 


The Proloque 40 


KuBLA Khan 41 


For a Copy of Theocritus 43 

".Good Night, BabetteI" 44 


Non sum qualis eram boxae sub regno Cynarae . . 47 


A Partinq 49 


Brahma .... 50 

Character 50 

Concord Hymn '. . 51 

Days 52 

Forbearance 52 

From ".The Problem" 52 

The Rhodora 53 


Remember "^ 54 


Little Boy Blue 56 

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod 57 


By the Well 59 

A Garden Piece 59 

On a Lute found in a Sarcophagus ....... 60 

The Monad's Grave 61 

Sestina 62 

[ 199 ] 


Eleoy written in a Country Churchyard .... 64 


Invictus 70 

Marqaritae Sorori 71 


The Sky-Lark 72 


The Chambered Nautilus 73 

The Last Leaf 74 


Unforeseen 77 

When the Priest left 77 


The Mysteries 79 


Marshlands 80 


To Celia 81 


Ode on a Grecian Urn 82 

Ode to a Nightingale 84 

On first looking into Chapman's Homer 87 

On seeing the Elgin Marbles 87 

The Terror of Death 88 


The Odyssey 89 

The Seekers for Ph^acia 89 

Two Sonnets of the Sirens 91 


The Passionate Shepherd to his Love 92 


In Memoriam 94 


To Tamaris . 95 


On his Blindness 96 

[ 200 ] 


Oft in the Stilly Night 97 

A White Rose 99 


Rondel 100 


To Helen 101 

To One in Paradise 101 


Ave, AstraI 103 


Marsyas 104 


Remembeb 106 


The Blessed Damozel 107 

A Match with the Moon 112 

Body's Beauty 113 

Broken Music 113 

Death-in-Love 114 

Heart's Haven ll.'> 

Known in Vain 115 

On Refusal of Aid between Nations 116 

The Lover's Walk 116 


Youth's Antiphony 119 


A Fragment: To Music 121 

Love's Philosophy 121 

ozymandias of eoypt 122 

The Cloud 122 

Threnody 125 

To THE Skylark 126 

To THE NiOHT 130 


Fulfillment 132 

The Mystery 133 

[ 201 ] 


My Bed is like a Ijttle Boat , . 134 

My Shadow 135 

Requiem 136 


A Forsaken Garden 137 

Choruses from "Atalanta in Calydon" 140 

Hymn to Proserpine 150 

Ode on the Proclamation of the French Republic, 
September 4, 1870 157 


An Ending 159 

At Carbis Bay 159 

At Dieppe 160 

In Ireland 

By the Pool at the Third Rosses 160 

By Lough-na-Gar: Green Light 161 

The Regret 162 

The Fisher's Widow 162 

The Crying of Water 163 


Break, break, break 164 

Crossing the Bar 164 



The City of Dreadful Night 

Proem 169 

Section II 170 

Section IV 172 

A Requiem v 176 


Out of the Cradle endlessly rocking 178 

".When Lilacs last in the Dooryard bloomed" . . 185 


Westminster Bridge . . . v 188 

Daffodils 188 

The World 189 

[ 202 ] 


Aedh tells of the Rose in his Heart 191 

Aedh tells of the Perfect Beautt 191 

Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven 192 

Aedh wishes his Beloved were dead 192 

Aedh laments the Loss of Love 193 

SoNo from ".The Land of Heart's Desire" .... 193 
The Heart of the Woman 194 



U. S. A.